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Monday, 24 August 2009

Global Witness Encourages Clinton to Address Conflict, Corruption in Africa

Author: Clark Gascoigne

Clark Gascoigne is the new media coordinator at the Task Force on Financial Integrity & Economic Development. He also serves as the new media coordinator for Global Financial Integrity.

Task Force member Global Witness has released a statement urging US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to address the issues of conflict and corruption – particularly in regard to natural resources – on her current trip to Africa. From Global Witness:

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should put a strong emphasis on how best to manage natural resource wealth and avoid conflict and corruption on her official tour of Africa this week, said campaign group Global Witness today.

Among the seven countries she will visit, Angola, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria are key examples of how abundant natural resource wealth – such as oil, minerals, and timber – can be more of a curse than a blessing, causing or exacerbating conflict and corruption.

Read Global Witness’s full statement at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Clinton should also address the fact that in Nigeria today, a US private equity firm, Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) making investments on behalf of Western DFIs like OPIC and CDC has managed to develop a portfolio where 3 out of the 4 investee companies can be linked in varying degrees to a notorious, high profile corrupt PEP, James Ibori.

This creates a situation where a favoured investment manager for several Western DFIs is the main foreign investor in several Ibori linked businesses.

3 out of a portfolio of 4 ECP investee companies, Notore, Oando, Intercontinental Bank have various links to Ibori.

Notore - Ibori has been identified by several due diligence reports and criminal investigations as the beneficial owner of Notore
Intercontinental Bank - Granted an Ibori associate with the unsecured loan used to buy Willbros Nigeria (another Ibori linked company). The loan has since gone bad in less than a year and forced the bank into distress.
Oando - Several directors are known to be Ibori associates and have been implicated in money laundering transactions related to Ibori, including the diversion of Delta State funds used to buy shares in Celtel (another Ibori linked company)

As a result of the global dimension of Ibori's money laundering activities several of his associates are facing trial in Nigeria and the UK. All these issues and investigations are in the public arena, but ECP and its Western sponsors are continuing with their investments without any comment on the current state of affairs.

What does this say about the sincerity of the Global partners in their efforts to help in fighting corruption in Africa? Perhaps it says they are only interested in fighting corruption when they are not the ultimate beneficiaries of the corruption.

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