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COMESA	
  SITUATION	
  BULLETIN	
  
Volume 5 – N
o
5- May 2013 - Monthly published by AFRIKASOURCES
Edited by AFRIKASOURCES – Author: Jean Philippe PAYET [CEO-Senior analyst]
The content of this publication is based on a selection of news browsed by our services. Request for a more detailed analysis at payet@afrikasources.com – © Afrikasources Consult Ltd
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
   	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
   	
  
After	
  polls,	
  eyes	
  on	
  
Kenya’s	
  future	
  
	
  
	
  
Kenya’s new president, Uhuru Kenyatta (a former finance minister), has appointed his former colleague, the Harvard-
educated Mr Henry Rotich as Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury. Mr Rotich was the head of macroeconomics at
the treasury in the finance ministry since March 2006. Mr Kenyatta also named diplomat Amina Mohamed as foreign
secretary nominee, the first woman to be nominated for the post since independence in 1963. Other nominees included
James Macharia, a banker, for the health ministry, and Fred Matiangi for the information portfolio.
Kenya's private sector is upbeat about the economy after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced some major reforms
during his inauguration speech. Key among the Kenyatta's pledges was the promise to drastically ease the business
registration process in the country. Kenya is currently ranked among countries in Africa where business registration
processes are painstakingly long but the country’s good performance has been underpinned by overall strong economic
policies.
More: Business Daily - http://tinyurl.com/cvpv2xq
Sudan - Sudanese insurgents have carried out their first combined attack, a surprise push into a strategic and previously peaceful region, but analysts
doubt the rebels' readiness to take Khartoum by force.
Swaziland - ANC called for the democratisation of neighbouring Swaziland, in a rare public rebuke of the country's ruling monarchy.
Mauritius - Floods devastated the Mauritian capital, Port-Louis, on Mar. 30. 11 people were killed, a hundred were wounded and thousands of dollars of
damage was caused. Emergency services were overwhelmed and unable to provide effective response to the disaster.
Djibouti – Following parliamentary election on February, President Guelleh named former defence minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed to replace
longtime ally Dileita Mohamed Dileita who had served as prime minister since 2001.
Egypt – The country will keep all state-owned firms in public hands, President Mohammed Morsi says in a speech, calling a halt to a flawed privatisation
programme that failed to kick-start the country’s economy.
Millions	
  missing	
  in	
  
Congolese	
  mining	
  taxes	
  
	
  
	
  
Congo has attracted international firms like Freeport-McMoRan, Glencore and Randgold to mine its rich copper, cobalt and gold
deposits, but remains one of the most corrupt countries. Tax authorities have failed to account for $88 million in revenue from the
booming mining sector, according to Mack Dumba Jeremy, national coordinator in Congo for the Extractive Industries Transparency
Initiative (EITI). "DGRAD (the Tax Agency) must prove that the money actually arrived in the public treasury in 2010. If they can't
then the executive committee of EITI will go to the courts in order to launch an inquiry into the whereabouts of this $88 million," said
Jeremy. EITI is an international initiative which aims to improve transparency in resource-rich countries by tallying up the amount
paid by companies and how much governments say they receive.
At the same time, London-listed ENRC is facing a corruption probe led by Britain's Serious Fraud Office following internal
investigations and whistleblower allegations concerning various assets in Africa. The UK Listing Authority (UKLA) has also ordered a
"diagnostic review" of its acquisitions in DR Congo, including a 2010 acquisition that handed it control of copper mines held by rival
First Quantum Minerals Ltd until they were seized by the Congolese government.
Ethiopia is negotiating with Brazil, Russia and India to finance and build rail links after agreeing terms last year with Chinese and
Turkish companies for other routes. The country (Africa’s second-most populous nation), is building 4,744 kilometers of electrified
railway lines at a cost of 110.8 billion birr ($5.9 billion) as it seeks to reduce road-transport costs constraining the continent’s
fastest growing non-oil producing economy over the past decade. Growth may slow to 6.5 percent this year and next, compared
with average growth of 8.7 percent over the past five years, according to International Monetary Fund data.
Ethiopia operates a state-led economy and is prioritizing investment in infrastructure as it seeks to transform one of the world’s
least developed countries into a middle-income nation by 2025. The decision to use electric trains is because Ethiopia, which has
the continent’s second-biggest hydropower potential, generates cheap electricity and spends all of its estimated $3 billion annual
export earnings on importing fuel.
Foreign investors are granted contracts on condition that 60 % of the funding is provided by their countries “policy banks” in
foreign exchange, Ethiopian Railways Corp. General Manager Getachew Betru said.
Ethiopia	
  Courts	
  BRICS	
  
for	
  Rail	
  Projects	
  
	
  
A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited Moroni from March 13 to 22, 2013 for its 5th mission to review the Union
of Comoros' Extended Credit Facility (ECF). According to M. Harry Trines (Head of the mission), « Performance under the
programme has been satisfactory. All the quantitative targets for end-December 2012 were met, as were four of the five structural
benchmarks under the programme ». Therefore, the country will receive a disbursement of USD3.45 million from the IMF. However,
the IMF called on the country to forge ahead with the privatisation of Comores Telecom in 2013: « Areas of focus included the
implementation of the organizational frameworks for the public administration, continued improvement in banking supervision,
privatization of Comores Telecom, and reforms of the public utility (MAMWE) and “Société Comorienne des Hydrocarbures” ».
Establishing reliable electricity and energy supplies is crucial to sustaining economic growth and improving the business
environment. Few days later, the World Bank approved a grant of US$3 million to help Comoros scale up an emergency response in
parts of the island hit by devastating floods.In the past decade, when GDP growth was at its strongest, absolute poverty has climbed
from 16.7% to almost 20%.
IMF	
  supports	
  Comoros	
  
	
  
JOIN OUR NETWORK: http://investincomesa.ning.com
	
  
Author: Jean Philippe PAYET - The content of this publication is based on a selection of news browsed by our services. Request for a more detailed analysis at payet@afrikasources.com – © Afrikasources Consult Ltd
NEXT EDITION: June 7th
2013
	
  
IMF	
  prescriptions	
  hurt	
  
Malawi	
  say	
  NGOs	
  
	
  
Markets	
  are	
  Endorsing	
  Path	
  
to	
  Growth	
  
	
  
Recent	
  increase	
  in	
  Uganda’s	
  military	
  expenditure	
  even	
  amidst	
  global	
  and	
  
regional	
   defence	
   cuts	
   might	
   be	
   the	
   latest	
   indication	
   of	
   President	
  
Museveni’s	
  strategy	
   to	
  fasten	
  his	
  grip	
   on	
  power	
   and	
   his	
  influence	
   on	
  the	
  
region.	
   It	
   comes	
   at	
   a	
   time	
   when	
   a	
   new	
   report	
   by	
   SIPRI,	
   indicates	
   that	
  
globally	
  and	
  regionally,	
  military	
  expenditure	
  is	
  declining	
  :	
  2012	
  saw	
  military	
  
expenditure	
  in	
  Sub-­‐Saharan	
  Africa	
  drop	
  by	
  3.2	
  %.	
  
Uganda	
  was	
  the	
  second	
  largest	
  importer	
  in	
  the	
  Sub-­‐Saharan	
  region	
  of	
  arms	
  
between	
   2008-­‐2012	
   accounting	
   for	
   15	
   per	
   cent	
   after	
   South	
   Africa’s	
   24	
  
percent.	
  It	
  also	
  reportedly	
  bagged	
  17	
  %	
  of	
  the	
  of	
  the	
  small	
  arms	
  and	
  light	
  
weapons;	
  assault	
  rifles	
  and	
  submachine	
  guns,	
  transferred	
  in	
  Sub-­‐Saharan	
  
Africa	
  and	
  Kenya,	
  Uganda’s	
  other	
  regional	
  military	
  competitor,	
  17%	
  23%	
  in	
  
the	
  Arms	
  Flow	
  to	
  Sub-­‐Saharan	
  Africa	
  report.	
  
Sudan	
   is	
   always	
   cited	
   among	
   what	
   whets	
   Museveni’s	
   arms	
   appetite.	
  
Recently,	
  the	
   country	
  complained	
   to	
  the	
   African	
  Union	
   that	
  Uganda	
   was	
  
supporting	
   rebellion	
   in	
   Sudan	
   and	
   Sudanese	
   media	
   reported	
   that	
  
Khartoum	
  was	
  in	
  talks	
  with	
  forces	
  opposed	
  to	
  President	
  Museveni.	
  
The	
  African	
  diaspora	
  is	
  a	
  major	
  source	
  of	
  foreign	
  income	
  so	
  large	
  that	
  it	
  now	
  
outstrips	
  foreign	
  aid	
  sent	
  by	
  Western	
  donors.	
  Nearly	
  140	
  million	
  Africans	
  live	
  
abroad.	
  The	
  money	
  they	
  send	
  back	
  home,	
  remittances,	
  is	
  worth	
  far	
  more	
  -­‐	
  in	
  
value	
  and	
  usefulness	
  -­‐	
  than	
  the	
  development	
  donations	
  by	
  Western	
  financial	
  
institutions.	
  
The	
  exact	
  amount	
  of	
  these	
  remittances	
  is	
  unknown	
  because	
  not	
  all	
  of	
  it	
  is	
  
sent	
   through	
   official	
   banking	
   channels.	
   But	
   the	
   official	
   volume	
   to	
   the	
  
continent	
  has	
  gradually	
  increased	
  over	
  the	
  years,	
  from	
  $11	
  billion	
  in	
  2000	
  to	
  
$60	
  billion	
  in	
  2012,	
  according	
  to	
  the	
  World	
  Bank.	
  As	
  a	
  proportion	
  of	
  gross	
  
domestic	
   product,	
   remittances	
   in	
   Africa	
   range	
   from	
   next-­‐to-­‐nothing	
   to	
  
almost	
  five	
  per	
  cent.	
  
Worldwide	
  remittances	
  to	
  developing	
  countries	
  were	
  $351	
  billion	
  in	
  2011,	
  far	
  
exceeding	
  the	
  $129	
  billion	
  in	
  official	
  development	
  assistance,	
  according	
  to	
  
the	
  World	
  Bank.	
  
More on Africa in Fact, April 2013: Aid-The bottomless pit
The	
  6
h
	
  Conference	
  of	
  the	
  African	
  Ministers	
  in	
  charge	
  of	
  Integration	
  [COMAI	
  6]	
  was	
  held	
  in	
  Mauritius	
  on	
  15	
  to	
  19	
  April	
  2013.	
  The	
  theme	
  of	
  this	
  year’s	
  conference	
  
was	
  ‘Governance	
  of	
  Integration’.	
  
Discussions	
   focused	
   on	
   the	
   status	
   of	
   integration	
   in	
   Africa	
   and	
   the	
   implementation	
   of	
   COMAI	
   V	
   recommendations,	
   consideration	
   and	
   adoption	
   of	
   the	
  
recommendations	
  of	
  the	
  Experts	
  meeting,	
  consideration	
  and	
  adoption	
  of	
  the	
  Draft	
  Ministerial	
  Declaration.	
  Panel	
  discussions	
  involved	
  several	
  sub-­‐themes,	
  
namely	
  Pan	
  Africanism	
  and	
  Integration,	
  Impact	
  of	
  Globalisation	
  on	
  the	
  Governance	
  of	
  Integration	
  in	
  Africa	
  and	
  the	
  furtherance	
  of	
  African	
  leaders’	
  interest	
  in	
  
the	
  integration	
  process.	
  
One	
  important	
  decision	
  relates	
  to	
  the	
  formation	
  of	
  a	
  Second	
  Bloc	
  of	
  combined	
  RECs	
  as	
  endorsed	
  by	
  the	
  18th	
  Ordinary	
  Session	
  of	
  the	
  AU	
  Assembly	
  in	
  January	
  
2012.	
  This	
  would	
  be	
  an	
  emulation	
  of	
  the	
  Tripartite	
  Arrangement	
  (between	
  EAC/SADC/COMESA).	
  The	
  second	
  bloc	
  is	
  being	
  set	
  up	
  to	
  undertake	
  consultations	
  
and	
  eventual	
  negotiations	
  with	
  other	
  regional	
  groupings	
  on	
  the	
  process	
  of	
  continental	
  free	
  trade	
  area	
  with	
  a	
  view	
  to	
  enhancing	
  Intra	
  African	
  Trade.	
  
Other	
   key	
   recommendations	
   include	
   devoting	
   one	
   of	
   the	
   ordinary	
   sessions	
   of	
   the	
   AU	
   Summit	
   to	
   development	
   and	
   integration,	
   convening	
   a	
   consultative	
  
meeting	
  on	
  the	
  ‘Blue	
  Economy’,	
  commissioning	
  a	
  study	
  to	
  propose	
  ways	
  and	
  means	
  for	
  the	
  rapid	
  integration	
  of	
  Island	
  States	
  and	
  landlocked	
  countries	
  as	
  well	
  
as	
  the	
  facilitation	
  of	
  the	
  movement	
  of	
  people.	
  
Challenges	
  impending	
  regional	
  integration	
  in	
  Africa	
  remain,	
  said	
  AUC	
  Deputy	
  Chairperson	
  Erastus	
  Mwencha,	
  emphasizing	
  in	
  this	
  regard,	
  the	
  governance	
  and	
  
the	
  lack	
   of	
   clear	
   implementation	
   and	
   accountability	
  mechanism,	
   among	
  others.	
   The	
  inefficient	
  free	
   movement	
  of	
   persons	
  across	
   the	
  continent;	
   the	
   over-­‐
reliance	
  on	
  donor	
  funding	
  for	
  financing	
  integration	
  projects;	
  the	
  insufficient	
  citizen	
  ownership	
  and	
  the	
  lack	
  of	
  an	
  enabling	
  environment	
  for	
  a	
  people-­‐centered	
  
approach	
  to	
  policy	
  making,	
  as	
  well	
  as	
  the	
  low	
  implementation	
  rate	
  of	
  numerous	
  signed	
  and	
  ratified,	
  with	
  insufficiently	
  transposed	
  legal	
  texts	
  into	
  national	
  
legislation	
  and	
  the	
  intra-­‐African	
  trade	
  which	
  remains	
  low	
  at	
  10-­‐12	
  per	
  cent	
  of	
  the	
  continental	
  total;	
  were	
  among	
  the	
  major	
  obstacles	
  featured	
  by	
  M.	
  Mwencha.	
  
More:	
  http://foreign.gov.mu/English/COMAI%20VI/Pages/default.aspx	
  	
  
6th	
  CONFERENCE	
  OF	
  AFRICAN	
  MINISTERS	
  IN	
  CHARGE	
  OF	
  INTEGRATION	
  [Mauritius]
	
  
In the face of severe economic hardship and an ominous economic growth prognosis for the foreseeable future, the Malawi Chamber
of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) was quoted as claiming that the economic reforms that critics have been against are actually the
necessary cure for the country. But for the Council for Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi (Congoma), International Monetary
Fund (IMF) prescriptions imposed on Malawi such as a combined dose of currency devaluation; floatation of the kwacha and
removal of subsidies of fuels is hurting Malawians.
Following a mission in April, IMF decided to released US$19.6m ECF funding to Malawi. Indeed, “Malawi’s performance under the
fund-supported program has been commendable despite a difficult environment. The policy reforms have begun to yield positive
results, including increased availability of foreign exchange. The government also successfully rolled out its social protection
programs,” said the IMF Team.
IMF had suspended ECF in 2011 over what they called failure by then ruling Democratic Progressive party government led by the late
president Mutharika. President Joyce Banda who came into power after the death of Mutharika saw devaluation as ‘necessary evil’.
She devalued the kwacha by almost 50% and later floated it. As a result the cost of basic goods rose dramatically pushing the
inflation rate well above 35 percent.
Rwanda’s debut on the global bond market raised $400 million with an offering that was heavily over-subscribed by nearly eight
times. Final yield on the 10-year bonds of 6.875% was less than reported expectations in the low-7% area, due to strong
buyer interest. Proceeds will go to repayment of bank loans, infrastructure such as a hydropower project, expansion of the
national airline RwandAir, and the completion of a convention center in the capital of Kigali.
Fitch, which affirmed a “B” rating on Rwanda, noted its “solid economic policies and a track record of structural reforms,
macroeconomic stability, and low government debt” (23.3% of GDP in Rwanda, compared to the median of 43.5% among B-
rated peers). Certainly, the country is not without its challenges; it is landlocked, which vastly increases transportation costs for
imported goods, and more electrical generation capacity is needed. It is often clouded by geopolitics, most notably the morass
of conflict in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Kagame draws criticism for being too tightly controlling,
and human rights watchers charge the country suppresses political opposition and free speech.
Critics highlight that the country is already the first beneficiary of Donors Aid in Africa.
Are	
  Uganda	
  and	
  Sudan	
  entering	
  arms	
  race	
  ?	
   Why	
  Diaspora’s	
  Money	
  is	
  good	
  
REGIONAL	
  NEWS	
  

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Comesa situation bulletin May 2013

  • 1. COMESA  SITUATION  BULLETIN   Volume 5 – N o 5- May 2013 - Monthly published by AFRIKASOURCES Edited by AFRIKASOURCES – Author: Jean Philippe PAYET [CEO-Senior analyst] The content of this publication is based on a selection of news browsed by our services. Request for a more detailed analysis at payet@afrikasources.com – © Afrikasources Consult Ltd                               After  polls,  eyes  on   Kenya’s  future       Kenya’s new president, Uhuru Kenyatta (a former finance minister), has appointed his former colleague, the Harvard- educated Mr Henry Rotich as Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury. Mr Rotich was the head of macroeconomics at the treasury in the finance ministry since March 2006. Mr Kenyatta also named diplomat Amina Mohamed as foreign secretary nominee, the first woman to be nominated for the post since independence in 1963. Other nominees included James Macharia, a banker, for the health ministry, and Fred Matiangi for the information portfolio. Kenya's private sector is upbeat about the economy after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced some major reforms during his inauguration speech. Key among the Kenyatta's pledges was the promise to drastically ease the business registration process in the country. Kenya is currently ranked among countries in Africa where business registration processes are painstakingly long but the country’s good performance has been underpinned by overall strong economic policies. More: Business Daily - http://tinyurl.com/cvpv2xq Sudan - Sudanese insurgents have carried out their first combined attack, a surprise push into a strategic and previously peaceful region, but analysts doubt the rebels' readiness to take Khartoum by force. Swaziland - ANC called for the democratisation of neighbouring Swaziland, in a rare public rebuke of the country's ruling monarchy. Mauritius - Floods devastated the Mauritian capital, Port-Louis, on Mar. 30. 11 people were killed, a hundred were wounded and thousands of dollars of damage was caused. Emergency services were overwhelmed and unable to provide effective response to the disaster. Djibouti – Following parliamentary election on February, President Guelleh named former defence minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed to replace longtime ally Dileita Mohamed Dileita who had served as prime minister since 2001. Egypt – The country will keep all state-owned firms in public hands, President Mohammed Morsi says in a speech, calling a halt to a flawed privatisation programme that failed to kick-start the country’s economy. Millions  missing  in   Congolese  mining  taxes       Congo has attracted international firms like Freeport-McMoRan, Glencore and Randgold to mine its rich copper, cobalt and gold deposits, but remains one of the most corrupt countries. Tax authorities have failed to account for $88 million in revenue from the booming mining sector, according to Mack Dumba Jeremy, national coordinator in Congo for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). "DGRAD (the Tax Agency) must prove that the money actually arrived in the public treasury in 2010. If they can't then the executive committee of EITI will go to the courts in order to launch an inquiry into the whereabouts of this $88 million," said Jeremy. EITI is an international initiative which aims to improve transparency in resource-rich countries by tallying up the amount paid by companies and how much governments say they receive. At the same time, London-listed ENRC is facing a corruption probe led by Britain's Serious Fraud Office following internal investigations and whistleblower allegations concerning various assets in Africa. The UK Listing Authority (UKLA) has also ordered a "diagnostic review" of its acquisitions in DR Congo, including a 2010 acquisition that handed it control of copper mines held by rival First Quantum Minerals Ltd until they were seized by the Congolese government. Ethiopia is negotiating with Brazil, Russia and India to finance and build rail links after agreeing terms last year with Chinese and Turkish companies for other routes. The country (Africa’s second-most populous nation), is building 4,744 kilometers of electrified railway lines at a cost of 110.8 billion birr ($5.9 billion) as it seeks to reduce road-transport costs constraining the continent’s fastest growing non-oil producing economy over the past decade. Growth may slow to 6.5 percent this year and next, compared with average growth of 8.7 percent over the past five years, according to International Monetary Fund data. Ethiopia operates a state-led economy and is prioritizing investment in infrastructure as it seeks to transform one of the world’s least developed countries into a middle-income nation by 2025. The decision to use electric trains is because Ethiopia, which has the continent’s second-biggest hydropower potential, generates cheap electricity and spends all of its estimated $3 billion annual export earnings on importing fuel. Foreign investors are granted contracts on condition that 60 % of the funding is provided by their countries “policy banks” in foreign exchange, Ethiopian Railways Corp. General Manager Getachew Betru said. Ethiopia  Courts  BRICS   for  Rail  Projects     A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited Moroni from March 13 to 22, 2013 for its 5th mission to review the Union of Comoros' Extended Credit Facility (ECF). According to M. Harry Trines (Head of the mission), « Performance under the programme has been satisfactory. All the quantitative targets for end-December 2012 were met, as were four of the five structural benchmarks under the programme ». Therefore, the country will receive a disbursement of USD3.45 million from the IMF. However, the IMF called on the country to forge ahead with the privatisation of Comores Telecom in 2013: « Areas of focus included the implementation of the organizational frameworks for the public administration, continued improvement in banking supervision, privatization of Comores Telecom, and reforms of the public utility (MAMWE) and “Société Comorienne des Hydrocarbures” ». Establishing reliable electricity and energy supplies is crucial to sustaining economic growth and improving the business environment. Few days later, the World Bank approved a grant of US$3 million to help Comoros scale up an emergency response in parts of the island hit by devastating floods.In the past decade, when GDP growth was at its strongest, absolute poverty has climbed from 16.7% to almost 20%. IMF  supports  Comoros    
  • 2. JOIN OUR NETWORK: http://investincomesa.ning.com   Author: Jean Philippe PAYET - The content of this publication is based on a selection of news browsed by our services. Request for a more detailed analysis at payet@afrikasources.com – © Afrikasources Consult Ltd NEXT EDITION: June 7th 2013   IMF  prescriptions  hurt   Malawi  say  NGOs     Markets  are  Endorsing  Path   to  Growth     Recent  increase  in  Uganda’s  military  expenditure  even  amidst  global  and   regional   defence   cuts   might   be   the   latest   indication   of   President   Museveni’s  strategy   to  fasten  his  grip   on  power   and   his  influence   on  the   region.   It   comes   at   a   time   when   a   new   report   by   SIPRI,   indicates   that   globally  and  regionally,  military  expenditure  is  declining  :  2012  saw  military   expenditure  in  Sub-­‐Saharan  Africa  drop  by  3.2  %.   Uganda  was  the  second  largest  importer  in  the  Sub-­‐Saharan  region  of  arms   between   2008-­‐2012   accounting   for   15   per   cent   after   South   Africa’s   24   percent.  It  also  reportedly  bagged  17  %  of  the  of  the  small  arms  and  light   weapons;  assault  rifles  and  submachine  guns,  transferred  in  Sub-­‐Saharan   Africa  and  Kenya,  Uganda’s  other  regional  military  competitor,  17%  23%  in   the  Arms  Flow  to  Sub-­‐Saharan  Africa  report.   Sudan   is   always   cited   among   what   whets   Museveni’s   arms   appetite.   Recently,  the   country  complained   to  the   African  Union   that  Uganda   was   supporting   rebellion   in   Sudan   and   Sudanese   media   reported   that   Khartoum  was  in  talks  with  forces  opposed  to  President  Museveni.   The  African  diaspora  is  a  major  source  of  foreign  income  so  large  that  it  now   outstrips  foreign  aid  sent  by  Western  donors.  Nearly  140  million  Africans  live   abroad.  The  money  they  send  back  home,  remittances,  is  worth  far  more  -­‐  in   value  and  usefulness  -­‐  than  the  development  donations  by  Western  financial   institutions.   The  exact  amount  of  these  remittances  is  unknown  because  not  all  of  it  is   sent   through   official   banking   channels.   But   the   official   volume   to   the   continent  has  gradually  increased  over  the  years,  from  $11  billion  in  2000  to   $60  billion  in  2012,  according  to  the  World  Bank.  As  a  proportion  of  gross   domestic   product,   remittances   in   Africa   range   from   next-­‐to-­‐nothing   to   almost  five  per  cent.   Worldwide  remittances  to  developing  countries  were  $351  billion  in  2011,  far   exceeding  the  $129  billion  in  official  development  assistance,  according  to   the  World  Bank.   More on Africa in Fact, April 2013: Aid-The bottomless pit The  6 h  Conference  of  the  African  Ministers  in  charge  of  Integration  [COMAI  6]  was  held  in  Mauritius  on  15  to  19  April  2013.  The  theme  of  this  year’s  conference   was  ‘Governance  of  Integration’.   Discussions   focused   on   the   status   of   integration   in   Africa   and   the   implementation   of   COMAI   V   recommendations,   consideration   and   adoption   of   the   recommendations  of  the  Experts  meeting,  consideration  and  adoption  of  the  Draft  Ministerial  Declaration.  Panel  discussions  involved  several  sub-­‐themes,   namely  Pan  Africanism  and  Integration,  Impact  of  Globalisation  on  the  Governance  of  Integration  in  Africa  and  the  furtherance  of  African  leaders’  interest  in   the  integration  process.   One  important  decision  relates  to  the  formation  of  a  Second  Bloc  of  combined  RECs  as  endorsed  by  the  18th  Ordinary  Session  of  the  AU  Assembly  in  January   2012.  This  would  be  an  emulation  of  the  Tripartite  Arrangement  (between  EAC/SADC/COMESA).  The  second  bloc  is  being  set  up  to  undertake  consultations   and  eventual  negotiations  with  other  regional  groupings  on  the  process  of  continental  free  trade  area  with  a  view  to  enhancing  Intra  African  Trade.   Other   key   recommendations   include   devoting   one   of   the   ordinary   sessions   of   the   AU   Summit   to   development   and   integration,   convening   a   consultative   meeting  on  the  ‘Blue  Economy’,  commissioning  a  study  to  propose  ways  and  means  for  the  rapid  integration  of  Island  States  and  landlocked  countries  as  well   as  the  facilitation  of  the  movement  of  people.   Challenges  impending  regional  integration  in  Africa  remain,  said  AUC  Deputy  Chairperson  Erastus  Mwencha,  emphasizing  in  this  regard,  the  governance  and   the  lack   of   clear   implementation   and   accountability  mechanism,   among  others.   The  inefficient  free   movement  of   persons  across   the  continent;   the   over-­‐ reliance  on  donor  funding  for  financing  integration  projects;  the  insufficient  citizen  ownership  and  the  lack  of  an  enabling  environment  for  a  people-­‐centered   approach  to  policy  making,  as  well  as  the  low  implementation  rate  of  numerous  signed  and  ratified,  with  insufficiently  transposed  legal  texts  into  national   legislation  and  the  intra-­‐African  trade  which  remains  low  at  10-­‐12  per  cent  of  the  continental  total;  were  among  the  major  obstacles  featured  by  M.  Mwencha.   More:  http://foreign.gov.mu/English/COMAI%20VI/Pages/default.aspx     6th  CONFERENCE  OF  AFRICAN  MINISTERS  IN  CHARGE  OF  INTEGRATION  [Mauritius]   In the face of severe economic hardship and an ominous economic growth prognosis for the foreseeable future, the Malawi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) was quoted as claiming that the economic reforms that critics have been against are actually the necessary cure for the country. But for the Council for Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi (Congoma), International Monetary Fund (IMF) prescriptions imposed on Malawi such as a combined dose of currency devaluation; floatation of the kwacha and removal of subsidies of fuels is hurting Malawians. Following a mission in April, IMF decided to released US$19.6m ECF funding to Malawi. Indeed, “Malawi’s performance under the fund-supported program has been commendable despite a difficult environment. The policy reforms have begun to yield positive results, including increased availability of foreign exchange. The government also successfully rolled out its social protection programs,” said the IMF Team. IMF had suspended ECF in 2011 over what they called failure by then ruling Democratic Progressive party government led by the late president Mutharika. President Joyce Banda who came into power after the death of Mutharika saw devaluation as ‘necessary evil’. She devalued the kwacha by almost 50% and later floated it. As a result the cost of basic goods rose dramatically pushing the inflation rate well above 35 percent. Rwanda’s debut on the global bond market raised $400 million with an offering that was heavily over-subscribed by nearly eight times. Final yield on the 10-year bonds of 6.875% was less than reported expectations in the low-7% area, due to strong buyer interest. Proceeds will go to repayment of bank loans, infrastructure such as a hydropower project, expansion of the national airline RwandAir, and the completion of a convention center in the capital of Kigali. Fitch, which affirmed a “B” rating on Rwanda, noted its “solid economic policies and a track record of structural reforms, macroeconomic stability, and low government debt” (23.3% of GDP in Rwanda, compared to the median of 43.5% among B- rated peers). Certainly, the country is not without its challenges; it is landlocked, which vastly increases transportation costs for imported goods, and more electrical generation capacity is needed. It is often clouded by geopolitics, most notably the morass of conflict in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Kagame draws criticism for being too tightly controlling, and human rights watchers charge the country suppresses political opposition and free speech. Critics highlight that the country is already the first beneficiary of Donors Aid in Africa. Are  Uganda  and  Sudan  entering  arms  race  ?   Why  Diaspora’s  Money  is  good   REGIONAL  NEWS