Honest Accounts – the True Story of Africa’s billion dollar losses

Some organisations involved in the Progressive Development Forum alongside a number of African partners recently published the report ‘Honest Accounts’ This report, briefing and animation (below) quantifies the resource flows in and out of sub Saharan Africa, across a wide range of areas. It shows that inflows on $134 per year compared to outflows of $192 leaving a $58 billion dollar net loss each year.

Africa is losing:
• $46.3 billion in profits made by multinational companies
• $21 billion in debt payments, often following irresponsible loans
• $35.3 billion in illicit financial flows facilitated by the global network of tax havens
• $23.4 billion in foreign currency reserves given as loans to other governments
• $17 billion in illegal logging
• $1.3 billion in illegal fishing
• $6 billion as a result of the migration of skilled workers from Africa

In addition to these resource flows Africa is forced to pay a further:
• $10.6 billion to adapt to the effects of climate change that it did not cause
• $26 billion to promote low carbon economic growth

This provides a challenge to the idea that we are generously ‘aiding’ Africa and demands action on the structural causes of poverty. We also have a manifesto action targeting party leaders calling for ‘honest accounts’ of our financial relationship with Africa which you can take here.

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“The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.”

This is an old piece but it’s worth sharing. Nigerian born, US based writer Teju Cole on the ‘white saviour industrial complex’. I used one of his tweets recently in a report and a presentation – here’s a link to the full list of his tweets on this topic and his article that’s very relevant to debates on development, privilege and ‘helping Africa’. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial-complex/254843/

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Are you clear about the implications of the Lobbying Act? Join us on 5 August

Earlier this month the Electoral Commission released their guidance on the Lobbying Act which comes into force from 19 September, 2014. To help your organisation fully understand the implications of the Act, and to support you to decide whether your organisation needs to register and what activities may be regulated, Bond is hosting a free briefing meeting with representatives from the Electoral Commission on 5 August.

When: 9:15am – 12:45pm, Tuesday 5 August, 2014.
Where: Bond, Society Building, 8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL.
RSVP essential: We expect this to be a popular meeting so please email Cara Bevington (cbevington@bond.org.uk) to reserve your place.

The meeting is open to all organisations affected by the Lobbying Act: those involved in campaigning as well as CEOs and trustees. The Electoral Commission will present their guidance and there will be a Q&A to clarify anything you find unclear. There will also be presentations from NGO representatives coordinating the civil society response to the Act.

If you are unable to attend, but would like to receive more information from Bond on the implications of the Lobbying Act and how civil society plans to respond, please register your interest by emailing Cara Bevington.

We hope to see you on 5 August!

Cara and the Bond Policy and Campaigns team.

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Coalition campaigns: the role of the global south

I was asked by Bond – following the Enough If campaign and others – to write a piece on the role of the Global South in campaign coalitions.

Here’s a link:

http://www.bond.org.uk/coalition-campaigns-role-of-global-south

See what you think…  any thoughts??

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Celebs and journos: any good for development?

Does INGO use of celebrities have any positive impact in the real world, or is it really just a sneaky way for charities to attract corporate sponsors to their brand? Dan Brockington’s research into INGO use of celebrities for advocacy purposes has now been made available via open access licences here, and it includes some interesting reflections.

For those in London on 19 June, Dan’s new book ‘Celebrity Advocacy and International Development’ will be launched at 6pm at the Open University, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP. The first chapter can be previewed for free here.

The event comes at the end of a half-day workshop on development and the media organised by the Development Studies Association, and will also feature Martin Scott’s new book on Media and Development. To book a place, email martin.scott@uea.ac.uk or h.yanacopulos@open.ac.uk.

 

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More stereotypes

Here’s an interesting blog about why every novel on Africa has the same cover image.  Its not about development, per se, but what interested me most is that it shows that the development sector is just one perpetrator of myths amongst many.  We need to be conscious about the fact that we, too, are influenced by a wider set of cultural norms that infiltrate media, art, film and literature.  The question is: what is our role in combatting these myths and representations more widely?  We can merely be influenced by them, or we can seek to influence proactively.

http://qz.com/207527/the-reason-every-book-about-africa-has-the-same-cover-and-its-not-pretty/

 

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Rock star economist destroying the American dream

Rock star economist destroying the American dream

You may have to log in to view this, but it seems the inequality debate is picking up a real head of steam in the land of the American Dream. Piketty’s new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century might be one for some holiday reading!

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