Maendeleo Group Blog

The vision of the African Union (AU) is to achieve “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena”. The attainment of that vision hinges on three foundational imperatives: democratic governance, peace and security, and sustainable development. The focus of this report is on the interlinkages between democratic governance on the one hand and peace and security on the other. The report examines the two overarching mechanisms that were established by the AU to strengthen democratic governance and attain peace and security; namely the African Governance Architecture (AGA) and the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).

 

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(Credits: Originally published by - Norwegian Institute of International Affairs)

Published in Blog
Friday, 17 February 2017 08:49

Maendeleo Group In The Media

Hot off the press on our newly launched you tube channnel @ MaendeleoGroup- economic integration in Africa

 

Published in Blog
Saturday, 17 December 2016 08:27

Faten Aggad-Clerx

Faten Aggad-Clerx is a Strategic Advisor with Maendeleo Group. A national and citizen of Algeria her passion and interests are in fostering pan-Africanism and regional integration through strengthening democratic governance, continental trade and sustainable development. She is an international development expert, facilitator and connector with experience covering North and sub-Saharan Africa as well as Europe. In the last 5 years, she developed and managed the Africa programme of an EU-based Think and Do Tank, the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), where she collaborated with the African Union Commission and other African regional groupings on initiatives related to governance, early warning, relations with the EU especially in relation to strategic cooperation frameworks. In this capacity she also served as a facilitator and expert in a number of technical engagements within the framework of the EU-Africa partnership. She also initiated efforts to position her organisation in North Africa.

With 13+ years of experience, Faten worked at several Think Tanks including the South African Institute for International Affairs (SAIIA) where she served as a civil society trainer on the African Peer Review Mechanism in several countries (Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia). She also consulted for international agencies such as the UNDP. Faten was part of the Secretariat that supported the Former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano to launch the leadership initiative of former African Heads of States and Government in 2005 - the Africa Forum.

Faten has acted as a team leader for several studies and project evaluations especially on governance, peace, security and sustainable development. She has served as an evaluation team member on several evaluations. Clients included the European Union, the African Development Bank and the Netherlands’ Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Faten has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the University of Pretoria. She is also trained in Personal Leadership at the Institute of Personal Leadership at Columbia University, NYC. Faten is tri-lingual and is proficient to work in English, French and Arabic.

 
Faten Aggad Clerx
Faten Aggad-Clerx
Strategic Advisor
Maendeleo Group
Algiers, Algeria and Maastricht, Netherlands
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Published in Talent

The Panama Papers’, a data leak of client documents belonging to Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, were exposed by German newspaper, SüddeutscheZeitung, in conjunction with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). These controversial documents haveraised some ethical and legal questions around financial disclosure and transparency; and the role of tax haven jurisdictions in the facilitation of tax evasion, trade-based money laundering, organised crime, illicit financial flows (IFFs) and other issues of grave concern to the international community.

Although holding ownership of a shell company or an offshore account, in most cases is not unlawful, some negative practices have come to be associated with financial activities in secretive jurisdictions. In general, countries could prosecute individuals and corporations involved in the operation of offshore business interests, in instances where:

  • a public official has failed to disclose the offshore accounts;
  • the funds held in the offshore account are the proceeds of crime;
  • the offshore accounts facilitate the evasion of tax liability for an individual or corporate entity.

What has the response of African states been to the Panama Papers? The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria declared that it would investigate the nationals implicated in the scandal. Despite the existence of legislation enabling the prosecution of parties involved in the illegal use of offshore accounts, months of silence ensued, and after much protest, the Nigerian government eventually announced the names of prominent individuals to be prosecuted. Instrumental in this achievement were the concerted efforts by the Nigerian civil society which demanded that strong action be taken against those individuals with financial dealings in secretive jurisdictions.

It is interesting to note that before the data leaks such as WikiLeaks and the Panama Papers put a spotlight on offshore accounts, Nigeria and Kenya had already prohibited the use of foreign banking accounts by public officials in their respective Constitutions. Although Nigeria has disclosed the names of the individuals who will be prosecuted, there are no known prosecutions, intended or otherwise, relating to the Panama Papers in Kenya.

The South African Code of Conduct for Public Servants on the other hand, does not forbid the use of foreign banks by public officials and a proposed amnesty for those who declare their financial interests in offshore accounts, makes no distinction between voluntary disclosures to be made by public officials and individuals not in public service. There are also no known prosecutions in South Africa, relating to the Panama Papers or the holding of offshore accounts and companies. African responses have largely focused on individuals in public service and little attention has been placed on the role of corporate entities in IFFs and tax evasion.

The Panama Papers not only confirmed the losses that the continent suffers as a result of IFFs but also brought to light the existence of IFFs in other commercial industries. Tour operator agencies and companies operating in Southern and Eastern Africa have found themselves embroiled in the Panama Papers scandal; with at least 30 offshore Safari companies revealed to have been incorporated through Mossack Fonseca. Many of these companies are officially registered in the British Virgin Islands while their daily operations continue from Southern and East African countries such as Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Tanzania and Kenya.

Like the extractive industries, tourism is a major contributor to the economies of African countries. In 2014, tourism on the African continent contributed $798 million, with a total GDP input of 10.5%. The total number of jobs supplied by this industry in 2014, amounted to 543,500, which accounts for 9.2% of Africa’s jobs. Tourism is not only a major contributor to the GDP but is also a key foreign exchange earner as many tourists bring foreign currencies. In countries with weak financial controls, foreign currencies can more easily be channeled out to tax havens than the local currency. The inability to adequately control forex can impact a country’s balance of payments and adversely affect the viability of import and export markets.

Despite the devastating revelations brought forth by the Panama Papers, few African countries have taken decisive action with regard to the investigation, prosecution and subsequent recovery of assets of individuals and corporations linked to the Panama Papers.

At the regional level, the African Union’s (AU) Advisory Board on Corruption issued a statement to the effect that each country should conduct its own investigations into the persons mentioned in the Panama Papers. Although the AU Advisory Board on Corruption has the mandate to advise and develop disciplinary and investigation procedures for corruption and related offences in the public service, with the exception of a call for investigations, no guidelines for the investigation and prosecution of public officials linked to the Panama Papers have been issued. The inconsistent and often lax responses to the Panama Papers across the continent indicates the need for the harmonization of standards.

The Mbeki Panel Report on illicit financial flows in Africa highlighted that IFFs, organised crime and money laundering are negatively affecting the African continent’s ability to develop. The billions of dollars syphoned out of Africa’s reserves could be used for education, healthcare and other basic provisions, yet civil society in the countries most affected by IFFs, money laundering and tax evasion are not vocal about these serious impediments to sustainable development. In order to curb this major stumbling block to development, African states must take responsibility for the regulation and monitoring of funds transferred to offshore and secretive jurisdictions.

Blog written by Olwethu Majola-Kinyunyu Maendeleo Group’s Senior Analyst based on her research and article published by the Anti-Money Laundering Journal of Africa (AML Journal of Africa).

Published in Africa
Friday, 16 December 2016 01:14

Olwethu Majola-Kinyunyu

Olwethu Majola-Kinyunyu is an in-house Senior Analyst with Maendeleo Group. An Attorney of the High Court of South Africa she has vast expertise and experience in administrative and regulatory law particular on compliance and conducting due diligence. She is a specialist in implementation of international legal instruments at the national level especially those aimed at curbing transnational organised and financial crimes in Africa.

Olwethu is the Director of Research with the Association of Certified Compliance Professionals in Africa (ACCPA) and Assistant Editor-in-Chief of the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Journal of Africa. As a researcher and practitioner, Olwethu has contributed to a number of consultancies and projects in Africa notably:

  • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in carrying out of a legal audit and policy environment assessment in the area of transnational organised crime for Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar;
  • Development of an advocacy tool detailing regional mechanisms to combat Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) in Africa for Tax Justice Network Africa;
  • Development of a report on the threat of transnational organised crime in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Region on behalf of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime, Geneva, Switzerland;
  • Development of an anti-money laundering and compliance tool for banking, financial and regulatory institutions in Southern Africa.

Olwethu is a National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF) scholar, currently completing her PhD degree at the Centre of Criminology at the Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town. She holds Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Free State and a Master of Laws Degree in Transnational Criminal Justice from the South African-German Centre for Criminal Justice and Development Research at the University of the Western Cape.

 
Olwethu Majola Kinyunyu
Olwethu Majola-Kinyunyu
Senior Analyst
Maendeleo Group
South Africa
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Published in Talent

One just needs to look at the newspaper headlines across Africa to see the continent’s struggle with corruption: South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, all have seen corruption and bribery rise recently. According to the latest Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, “not a single country, anywhere in the world, is corruption-free”. But in sub-Saharan Africa, people in 40 out of 46 countries think theirs has a serious corruption problem.

Africa has lost over USD 1 trillion to illicit financial flows over the last 50 years, as reported the African Union’s high level panel on illicit financial flows (IFFs), led by South Africa’s former President Thabo Mbeki. This is roughly equivalent to all the official development assistance the continent received during the same timeframe. According to the panel, companies and government officials are illegally moving as much as USD 60 billion out of Africa each year.

From high-level political abuse to harassment by police officers, teachers, doctors or customs officials, corruption drains countries of resources, stifles small businesses and hampers education and healthcare. Together with lack of accountability and transparency, it is the most harmful barrier to development in Africa. While there’s no silver bullet to eradicate corruption, a combination of forces can improve the situation.

Enforcing targeted legal frameworks and policies and restoring the integrity of government institutions should come first. But the media and civil society also have a watchdog role to play. As long as the public continues to distance themselves from the fight against corruption, corruption will persist.

corruption mgEvidence shows it is more effective to target corruption-prone sectors than trying to fix it all in one go.

For example, Botswana and Rwanda use technology to limit direct contact between government officials and citizens in public procurement processes, one of the largest source of corruption in Africa today. The result is a much improved service delivery.

Our ‘Tax Inspectors Without Borders’ partnership with the OECD improves local audit capacities to address tax avoidance. Since the launch of the project in July 2015, eight pilot countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America collected more than $260m in additional tax revenue. More than $100m of that was generated through tax audits in Zimbabwe.

While governments must keep the pressure on closing international financial loopholes that perpetuate illicit finance, creating a domestic culture of accountability and transparency underpinned by effective public finance management tools is also essential.

Governments must be seen to fight impunity. A “get rich quick” culture in which wrongdoing, theft and corruption go unpunished perpetuates a society-wide crisis of integrity, compromises the youth and future leaders, and jeopardizes long-term stability and development.

Prosecution and convictions on corruption-related offences need to be strengthened, with long jail terms or banishment from political or business life serving as strong deterrents. On the other hand, paying back or returning what has been acquired illegally could be considered as an incentive for corrupt individuals and mitigating circumstances for judges.

With the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063, African countries have committed to “leave no one behind” and “to an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa”. There is no doubt that tackling corruption matters for people long-excluded from decision-making processes, for small businesses unable to grow due to red tape, for disabled people denied access to services, and for marginalized communities that are victims of land grabbing and displacement by the powerful.

This International Anti-Corruption Day is an opportune time to recommit and be #UnitedAgainstCorruption in order to achieve these two bold and ambitious agendas that have people’s wellbeing at their core. The future of the 1.2 billion people in Africa rests on it.

Written by: Njoya Tikum


ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://www.africa.undp.org/

Published in Africa
Thursday, 08 December 2016 04:42

Amandla Ooko-Ombaka

Amandla Ooko-Ombaka is a Business Associate with Maendeleo Group. She is an international development specialist with a public sector heart, a private sector mind and a passion for getting things done. Her professional and academic work is focused on how private sector led growth can build capabilities and institutions for governance in Africa.

Amandla has 7+ years of experience supporting performance transformations for Fortune 100 companies, governments & non-profits across Africa, Asia and North America. As a consultant with McKinsey & Company in their U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa Offices, she served public and private sectors clients across 8+ industries in over 30 cities. She was affiliated with the Oil & Gas practice working on multi-billion dollar projects. However, her work in Africa ranges from designing a financial inclusion architecture for Ethiopia targeting 8 million+ citizens, to establishing performance management practices for a Kenyan bank targeting a top 5 market position.

As an independent consultant and governance advisor, Amandla has served the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, the Ministry of Infrastructure in Rwanda, Stanbic Bank amongst others on topics including Policy Analysis, Business Financial Planning, Board Structure & Performance, Organizational Restructuring and Strengths-Based Leadership. She continues to offer targeted business advisory to FTSE 100 and LSE listed companies through Catalant.

Amandla views leadership as a call to service, and often speaks and/or moderates global dialogues on this topic, including a recent session with President Sirleaf Johnson of Liberia, and Felipe Caledron of Mexico (IDEASpHERE 2016). She supports the African Leadership Network (ALN) serving as an advisor to the CEO, and has co-founded several leadership and service oriented initiatives including the media platform secondstoryafrica.com, and the Leadership Institute at Yale - a 501(c)(3).

A native of Nairobi, Kenya, Amandla holds a BA in Economics & International Studies with distinction from Yale University, an MPA in International Development and an MBA from Harvard where she was a Center for Public Leadership Fellow. She is currently working on her first book, a biography of her father. You can follow her on Twitter @AmandlaOO

 
a Ombaka
Amandla Ooko-Ombaka
Business Associate
Maendeleo Group
Nairobi, Kenya
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Published in Talent
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 11:16

Njoya Tikum

Njoya Tikum is a non​-​remunerated strategic adviser with Maendeleo ​G​roup. He has over 10 years of experience in political and economic governance, human rights, rule of law and access to justice work. Currently, he is the Regional Anti-corruption and Economic Governance Advisor for UNDP Africa. In this capacity, he leads UNDP’s efforts to strengthen capacities of African governments and regional organizations to prevent and combat Corruption, Illicit Financial Flows and related development and economic governance challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to this, based in the Regional Bureau for Africa in New York, Njoya served as the Project Manager for UNDP Africa’s Regional Project on Community Security and Peace Consolidation in the Sahel, managed UNDP’s Access to Justice and Rule of Law programme in South Sudan and worked as Policy Specialist and Special Assistant to UNDP’s Global Director of Democratic Governance Group in the Bureau for Development Policy in New York.

Before joining UNDP, Njoya was a corporate and civil litigating attorney in Cameroon and New York. He served as a Senior Human Rights Fellow at the Human Rights Institute in Columbia University School of Law. He is the founder and co-founder of a number of human rights and social justice based organizations in his native country of Cameroon (Centre for Public Interest Law in Cameroon and The Tort for Tortured Victims Center). Identified as an Emerging Leader by the German Marshall Fund for the United States, He is a Yale Greenberg World Fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University, USA, holds a Master Degree in International Contracts and Human Rights Law from Columbia University School of Law, New York, an LLM in International Business Law from the Central European University, Hungary, and a Maîtres en Droit and an LLB from the University of Yaoundé II SOA, Cameroon

 
 Njoya Tikum
Njoya Tikum
Strategic Adviser
Maendeleo Group
Yaounde, Cameroon
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Published in Talent
Tuesday, 06 December 2016 19:04

Nick Wanjau

Nick M. Wanjau (PMIITPSA) is the Non-Executive Chairman of Maendeleo Group (Pty) Ltd Board of Directors. Nick brings to the company a wealth of experience and expertise in corporate governance, financial management and organizational development. He has over 20 years’ experience in the private sector co-founding and running over five successful private companies in education, information technology and transport.

Nick is a certified assessor and moderator with the Media Information Communication & Technologies Sector Education & Training Authority (MICT SETA), SERVICES, Education training and Development Practices (ETDP) and BANK SETA’s in South Africa since 2006 where he is involved in curriculum development, quality assurance, developing training programs and conducting curriculum moderation. He is a task team member of the South African Qualification’s Authority’s Standard Generating Body (SAQA SGB’s) for generating Information Systems & Technology qualifications and is a Professional member of the IITPSA (Institute of Information Technology Professional South Africa).

He is a pioneer of the Xtensive Academy and the Quantum Careers Development where he served as the Chief Operations Manager and ultimately as the Director of Operations. He is a founding partner of Glen Austin High, a private high school based in Midrand, Johannesburg. He serves on the board of the SPL Group (PTY) Ltd which specializes in project management and education, skills development and training. He is in charge of driving change management, leadership, and providing strategic direction, initiating, creating and maintaining business relationships with the Government and business partners. He also serves as a director of Zuberi Moja Solutions (PTY) Ltd which specializes in development of institutional education and training programs, coordination and management consulting in accordance with the national legislation relating to trade training in South Africa.

Nick studied at the Henley Business School UK, for an MBA and is a graduate of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) where he holds a BCIST Honors degree in Information Systems and Business analysis, and a BCON1 degree majoring in Economics and Strategy in Business. He is also studied International human Rights at the University of Cape town (UCT) (2004). He has an Advanced Diploma with the International Association of Business Executives (IABE) UK (1997).

 
n wanjau
Nick Wanjau
Non-Executive Chairman
Maendeleo Group
Johannesburg, South Africa
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Published in Talent
Tuesday, 06 December 2016 19:04

Edmund Foley

Edmund Foley is a Business Associate with Maendeleo Group. A practising lawyer at the Ghana Bar, he also teaches Criminal Law and Human Rights Law at the Faculty of Law, Administrative Law and Public Sector Legal Framework at the School of Governance, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). He is also a part-time lecturer at the Centre for Social Policy Studies (CSPS) of the University of Ghana, where he teaches Child Protection in the Masters in Social Policy Programme.

Edmund Foley has over 10 years’ experience in legal and political risks analysis with a focus on a human rights based approach. He served as the Technical Advisor on Children Rights at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection of Ghana 2014 - 2015. Mr Foley led the development of two key national policies – the Child and Family Welfare Policy and the Justice for Children Policy. He also played a key role in the reform of the adoption system in Ghana and was a member of the team of experts that developed and reviewed the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560) as part of the reform efforts. The Children’s Amendment Act, 2016 was passed by the Parliament of Ghana in October 2016. Mr Foley also served as a member of the Ghanaian Government’s delegation to the UNICEF Executive Board Meeting, the UN Committee on the Rights of Child and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. H continues to provide technical and legal expertise to the Ministry.

In 2012-2013, Edmund was the Head and Senior Researcher of the Children’s Rights Project of the Community Law Centre, University of the Western Cape where he led the Centre’s work on children’s rights in Eastern and Southern Africa. He managed the UNICEF-ESARO-funded programme on supporting law reform initiatives in Eastern and Southern African countries. He provided technical assistance to UNICEF Country Offices and Governments in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Lesotho and Swaziland on child law reform processes.

In 2007 - 2011, he was a Legal Officer at the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) and the lead officer on child rights and national human rights institutions (NHRIs). He was instrumental in the establishment of the National Agency for Legal Aid (NALA) of the Gambia and undertook a national mapping exercise of local initiatives for legal aid in the Gambia, funded by the UNDP. Prior to joining IHRDA in 2007, Edmund was an Associate in Sam Okudzeto and Associates, a leading law firm in Ghana, where he contributed to the firm’s successes in landmark cases in constitutional law, human rights, property law and commercial law.

Edmund graduated from the University of Ghana, Legon with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 2000 and the Ghana School of Law, Accra. He has a Master of Laws (LLM) Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (2004) and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Laws (LLD) Degree in Public Law at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

 
e foley
Edmund Foley
Business Associate
Maendeleo Group
Accra, Ghana
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Published in Talent
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