Africa Today blog

The flagship African show in Press TV

Archive for August, 2010

Foreign Direct Investment to Africa: a force for good or ill?

Posted by AT on August 27, 2010

Africa Today 71
Topic: Foreign Direct Investment to Africa: a force for good or ill?
Broadcast Date: 24th August 2010
Presenter: Henry Bonsu
1- Miss Katharine Pulvermacher, Chief Executive, African Rainbow Consulting
2- Mr Kofi Mawuli Klu Chief Executive Commissioner, PANAFRIINDABA
Remote Studio:
3- Miss Geetha Tharmaratnam Principal, Investments & ESG, Aureos Advisers Limited

This is a wider discussion on where Foreign Direct Investment to Africa go, and what’s it doing to countries like Angola, Congo, the DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, South Africa and Zambia, and is it a force for good or ill?

Uganda and Tanzania are, for the third year in a row, among the top 12 recipients of foreign direct investment in sub saharan Africa, according to the latest United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), World Investment Report. Investment in Uganda has surged over the past three years from $733 million in 2007 to $799 million last year. In Tanzania investment has remained steady at between $645 million and $680 million. The two countries were not affected by the global downturn in foreign investment, as well as commodity price falls – in marked contrast to their neighbours in Kenya.

With AID failing to improve the lives of Africans on the continent, some campaigners are calling for a new investment strategy that will attack the causes of poverty and deliver long term growth. They say free markets and foreign direct investments in Africa can stimulate economies and create the jobs the continent so badly needs. Currently about 60 percent of Africans are under the age of 24, which many dreaming of a future in the west that their homeland cannot provide. But how sustainable are these FDI’s and their interests in Africa. Are they operating a biased trading system to get the most out of her natural resources? Investors from Asia, the Pacific and South Asia have been criticized for their poor human treatment and disregard for business ethics, while those from western industrialized nations have been accused of long term exploitation. This week Africa Today finds out if Foreign Direct Investment – the billions that come in from governments and multinationals – is a force for good or ill.

For African countries to attract Foreign Direct Investments, they’re told to improve the business environment, and make changes that usually favour the investors. According to the research body African Economic Outlook, FDI inflows are important as a stable and long-term source of capital to promote industry and commerce, but the majority of FDI to Africa remains targeted to extractive industries, like oil, gas, and mining, in a relatively limited group of countries. This means big commercial developments financed by outsiders often have little positive impact on local communities and the wider economy. The World Bank in a recent report classified 24 African countries as oil and mineral dependent. It said these countries accounted for about three quarters of annual FDI flows over the past two decades. Given the global economic downturn, will these African states be able keep their investors and at what cost?

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DR Congo crisis: when does this end after thousands flee their homes?

Posted by AT on August 26, 2010

Africa Today 67
Topic: DR Congo crisis: when does this end after thousands flee their homes?

Broadcast Date: 27th July 2010
Presenter: Henry Bonsu
Studio Guests:
1- Dennis Katungi, Spokesperson, NRMUK
2- Okito Tongomo Chair, Congolese Support Group

Description: Tens of thousands of people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have fled their homes amid an army offensive against Ugandan rebels, presenting fresh impetus to humanitarian agencies’ efforts to adapt their response mechanisms to sudden displacement.

Part 1

Brief: A large wave of displacement was prompted by a 28 June attack – allegedly a rebel reprisal against the offensive – on the village of Mutwanga, which left eight civilians dead. Further attacks took place from the second week of July, with the ADF/NALU, estimated to number around 1,300 fighters, again being blamed by witnesses. As displacement patterns evolve, creating an increasingly intricate web of flight and return routes on eastern DRC’s map, so RRMP agencies have adapted their responses. From 2010, assistance is no longer distributed according to whether beneficiaries are fleeing, returning or hosting IDPs in their own homes. “We had more and more zones where displaced and returned people lived side by side. In some villages, we had one partner [agency] assisting the displaced and another one assisting returnees,” Sizaret said. Now the needs of entire populations in displacement areas are assessed with questionnaires and scorecards – in Beni evaluations began on 2 July – in an effort to deliver blanket assistance as rapidly and efficiently as possible.

Part 2

There are still unresolved questions surrounding the ongoing fight against rebel groups by governments in the great lake regions of Africa. The recent offensive against Ugandan rebels by the Democratic republic of Congo government has “raised fresh concern about this seemingly perpetual crisis. The fighting against rebels of one nationality or another has lasted a quarter of a century. The latest military operation is against the Allied Democratic Forces and the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF/NALU) in the North Kivu district of Beni. As a result of this incursion tens of thousands have been reported fleeing the eastern part of DRC triggering another humanitarian crisis. With the sudden displacement of people, Africa Today asks how peace can finally be brought to this most troubled part of Africa.

Part 3

WHO THEY ARE: The main rebel groups in the great lakes region operate in and around Eastern DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. In Easter DRC , the main rebel movement RCD is fighting to overthrow President Laurent Desire Kabila. This movement is split into two with allegations that they are being backed by Uganda and Rwanda. In Rwanda are the FAR, former Hutu militias and ex Rwandan armed forces responsible for the 1994 genocide. Burundi’s main rebel groups FDD and CNDD- with FDD seen more as a pro Kabila helping Congo’s forces fight the RCD while in Uganda is the ADF and LRA who are more concerned with destabilising Uganda. While these groups have direct links with these countries they also operate from areas in Tanzania, Sudan and Central African Republic.

The main rebel groups in the great lakes region are:

* Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD)- Easter DRC
* Forces armees rwandaises (FAR)- Rwanda
* Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie /Forces pour la defense de la democratie (FDD/CNDD)- Burundi
* Allied Democratic Forces/ Lord’s Resistance Army (ADF/ LRA)- Uganda

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Prosecution of African leaders: Is the ICC anti-African bias?

Posted by AT on August 14, 2010

Africa Today 68
Topic: Prosecution of African leaders: Is the ICC anti-African bias?
Host: Vuiyswa

1- Mohammed Eltom
Charge d’Affaires, Sudan Embassy

2- Alice Ukoko
Founder and CEO, Women Of Africa

3- Géraldine Mattioli-Zeltner
Advocacy Director-International Justice Program, Human Rights Watch

broadcast: 03 Aug. 2010
part 1

part 2

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