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'African corruption fueled by European, Chinese, American business people'

'African corruption fueled by European, Chinese, American business people'

Sudan

Sudanese-British business mogul and philanthropist, Mo Ibrahim, says people outside Africa are those that fuel the much talked about corruption on the continent.

He was speaking exclusively to Africanews’ Armelle Nga on the sidelines of the 2nd Africa Convergence summit held in the Moroccan city of Casablanca. Ibrahim who is founder and chair of the Mo Ibrahim foundation was a guest speaker.

Whiles admitting that there is corruption in Africa as is the case the world over, Ibrahim, 71, slams corrupt business practices which cause the continent to lose huge sums of money whiles people continue to live in poverty.

What about profit shifting, mis-pricing ? There is a whole lot of corruption around us. What about anonymous companies? Companies whose official ownership is not known, where people hide their stolen money.

“I think the corruption of Africa is taken totally out of context, Africa is no more corrupt than any other place around us. For every African leader who was corrupt, we have a 1000 European, American, Chinese business people who are corrupt, where are those guys?

“Why only talk about African corruption. What about the Chinese corruption, American corruption and European corruption? We need to be really fair in looking at this issue of corruption. What about companies not paying taxes in Africa?

“What about profit shifting, mis-pricing ? There is a whole lot of corruption around us. What about anonymous companies? Companies whose official ownership is not known, where people hide their stolen money.

“All that are issues of corruption, so all that need to be discussed and let’s get away from the scenario that only African leaders have a monopoly of corruption is not true,” he asked.

His corruption stance has thus far been consistent after he made similar comments in April 2017 during the Ibrahim governance forum held in Marrakech. His foundation which was founded over a decade ago, focuses on the importance of governance and leadership on the continent.

The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership is an award scheme which celebrates African leaders who demonstrate exceptional leadership. It has, however, failed to produce a winner for 2015 and 2016. In February 2017, the Prize Committee chairman, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, said the second successive failure to name a winner was due to the high standards and criteria the award holds.

Just as there was no winner for 2015 and 2016, there were no winners for four previous years – 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. Since the $5m prize was launched it has been awarded four times. The previous laureates are:

  • Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique (2007).
  • Festus Mogae of Botswana (2008)
  • Pedro Pires of Cabo Verde (2011)
  • Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia (2014)

Nelson Mandela was the inaugural Honorary Laureate in 2007. The prize money is spread over 10 years, with an additional $200,000 a year for life.

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