As one of Tanzania’s most important economic sectors and sources of foreign investment, tourism provides widespread opportunities for rent seeking and patronage activities among politicians. This trend is epitomised in the government’s relationship with the Otterlo Business Corporation (OBC), whose almost three-decade tenure in Tanzania has been plagued by allegations of corruption, human rights abuses and illicit hunting practices.
As President of Nigeria’s Senate, Bukola Saraki is the third most powerful politician in the country. Having survived several potentially destructive corruption scandals, recent developments are suggesting that Saraki is hoping to fulfil his rumoured presidential aspirations in 2019.
Despite fierce opposition from international mining companies, the DRC has signed into law regulations to implement the country’s new Mining Code, which introduces several major fiscal and regulatory reforms. Pursuing a high risk, high reward paradigm, these reforms will have a serious impact on the DRC’s already weak investment environment.
For nearly a decade, Ghana’s parliament has failed to pass the Right to Information (RTI) Bill, giving the general public the right to access information held by public sector organisations. But the recent pledge by President Nana Akufo-Addo to sign the bill into law by the end of 2018 suggests that this dallying is finally at an end, not only enhancing the country’s democratic landscape and investment environment, but also giving further credibility to the NPP’s much-touted anti-corruption campaign.
While police corruption is not an unknown phenomenon in Nigeria, its effects on foreign investment can be underestimated. Not only does police corruption have the potential to generate unforeseen business costs – through the use of bribes and extortion – but it also compromises the police’s ability to address threats, undermining the country’s security environment. This inevitably further damages Nigeria’s efforts to position itself as an attractive investment environment.
Endemic corruption has long rendered the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) ineffective in its role as governor and operator of Nigeria’s maritime ports, deterring investment and limiting economic development. However, the appointment of Hadiza Bala-Usman to head the critical parastatal promises an end to this trend, as President Muhammadu Buhari’s war against corruption turns to the country’s ports.
Sport hunting in Tanzania has long been synonymous with government corruption, with access to the lucrative sector believed to be controlled by a small group of elite politicians. However, the appointment of a new Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism suggests an imminent end to this trend, as sport hunting has finally attracted the attention of President John Magufuli’s war against corruption.
Created to investigate corruption within the government, Ghana's newly appointed Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu faces the challenging task of investigating and prosecuting public officials found guilty of corruption, as questions remain as to the extent of the position's independence.
While cocoa smuggling between Ghana and Ivory Coast is common, allegations of corruption and other illicit practices within Ghana's cocoa sector regulator, Cocobod, may tarnish Ghana's international reputation as a reliable supplier, and could prove more damaging to the country's lucrative industry.
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Wildlife poaching and trafficking have long been a serious problem in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. Despite his recent resignation, the ruling ZANU-PF’s strong links to these criminal activities means that a decrease in Zimbabwe’s thriving illicit wildlife trade is unlikely in the short term. In fact, the probability that the elite networks that benefit from the trade will remain in place under Mnangagwa remains high.
While it is widely agreed that the illicit practice of trade misinvoicing is costing African countries billions of dollars a year, the scale of the issue remains to be debated. It can be argued that the potentially over exaggerated estimates of misinvoicing in Africa being quoted by highly-respected and influential international institutions may in some cases be counterproductive, adversely affecting their investment environments.
Just two years into his presidency, President John Magufuli’s is proving to be a polarising figure. Winning praise for his tough stance on corruption and his refusal to back down in high-profile disputes with international mining companies, Magufuli has equally attracted condemnations for his increasingly authoritarian ruling style.