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AfricaFocus Bulletin: Latest six bulletins
Earlier Issues: Last 50 | Full Archive
February 1, 2016 Africa/Global: Accounting Tricks with Coca-Cola
"The Cayman-based Conco is one of more than 25 entities located in tax havens -- just over 30 percent of the [Coca-Cola's] total 'financial' subsidiary disclosures.. Of those based in tax havens, almost half use Delaware, including the parent Coca-Cola company, incorporated there since 1919. ... Delaware's secret formula is the total tax exemption for all income related to intangible capital. In fact, the Delaware Code specifically highlights the advantages of holding companies for intangible capital that "charge" their own global subsidiaries a 'fee' for use of the trademarks and other intangible capital." - Khadija Sharife, in "Coca-Cola's Hidden Formula for Avoiding Taxes"
January 25, 2016 Africa: Charting the Digital Gender Gap
New research from the World Wide Web Foundation reveals new details about the enduring digital gender gap in Africa's urban cities, despite the unprecedented expansion of access to mobile phones among women as well as men. In poor neighborhoods of six African cities, the study shows, "women are almost as likely as men to own a mobile phone of their own, but they are a third less likely than men of similar age, education level and economic status to use their phones to access the Internet. " The cities included were Lagos, Nairobi, Maputo, Kampala, Yaounde, and Cairo.
January 19, 2016 Africa: Stealth Assault on African Seeds
"There is a renewed and stronger assault on seed ... based on legal systems that permit exclusive rights over seeds on the spurious contention that plant varieties were 'discovered' and improved on. But these 'discovered' varieties are the product of the whole history of collective human improvements and maintenance carried out by peasants. To assert exclusive rights over the whole on the basis of small adjustments is nothing short of outright theft." - SouthSouth Dialogue, Durban, South Africa, November 2015
December 10, 2015 Africa/Global: Beyond the Paris Climate Talks
As the climate talks in Paris draw to a close this week, the countries present are still far from full agreement. Among the latest surprises was the announcement by the Marshall Islands and St. Lucia of a "Coalition of High Ambition Countries," spearheaded by small island states which are the most at risk of being submerged due to climate change. The coalition includes over 100 countries, including the European Union countries and the United States, but notable exceptions are the largest developing countries, such as China, India, Brazil, and South Africa.
December 1, 2015 Africa/Global: Changing "the Media"
"I've thought a lot about the outrage over unequal media coverage when it comes to attacks in the Western world vs death in 'other' black and brown countries. I cringed when Barack Obama called the Paris attacks an attack on 'all humanity'--as if brutal attacks in Pakistan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Kenya and Somalia and Mexico are not quite up to that benchmark. I agree that we in the media need to do a better job ... [but] I can't help but think that the 'Why didn't the media care about _____' stories will come, generate outrage clicks and shares, and pass, without people really taking the time to examine their own media consumption habits. ... the stories were written, you just didn't click." - Karen Attiah, Nov. 17, 2015
November 19, 2015 Africa: Boosting ICTs
The "AfricaRising" narrative can be a misleading stereotype, celebrating economic and technical progress without taking into account the enormous failures to deliver the fruits equitably to the majority of Africa's people. But one area in which some boosterism may be appropriate is the rapid advance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the continent.