‘Cashing in on the Government’s overseas aid spending’: don’t be embarrassed says David Cameron

Politicians and corporate donors from wealthy countries often flaunt their use of donations to accelerate development in impoverished regions.

glasgow business conference

More accurately, at a Glasgow business conference a week ago, David Cameron changed last year’s rhetoric about pride in aid for one of self-interest, saying that British firms should not be “embarrassed” about cashing in on the Government’s overseas aid spending and insisting that the country would gain “commercial benefits” in return for the multi-billion pound handouts to developing nations.

A coalition of UK and African researchers has confirmed this, releasing research findings in the Health Poverty Africa report illustrating how Africa actually loses $192 billion – over six times the $30 billion it receives annually in aid.

Their research published recently indicates that current practices within the continent tend to favour wealthy countries. These include:

  • tax evasion and illicit financial outflows,
  • $21 billion on debt repayments annually – some ‘odious’ debt,
  • illegal fishing and logging,
  • repatriation of multinational companies’ profits,
  • costs incurred from adapting to and mitigating climate change,
  • and the exodus of skilled workers (brain drain).

africa accounts graphic

“The report highlights that Africa is essentially not poor. A combination of inequitable policies, massive disparities in power and criminal activities perpetrated and sustained by wealthy elites both inside and outside the continent are keeping its people in poverty. The UK and other wealthy governments are at the heart of this theft”.

“For example, the continent haemorrhages $35.3 billion annually through the tax evasion and other dodgy financial flows enabled by tax havens. These tax havens are jurisdictionally linked to the G8 and the European Union and account for 70% of global tax haven investment. The UK has 11 tax havens under its jurisdiction!”

Page 16 of the report points out that, “It would be logical to assume that countries rich in resources would have lower levels of poverty and higher well-being but in fact the reverse is true. Of the world’s poorest one billion people, one-third live in resource-rich countries. Resource-rich countries account for nine of the 12 countries at the bottom of the Human Development Index (HDI), a measure of wealth, life expectancy and education”.

The authors of the report attribute this state of affairs to the impact of corruption facilitated through tax havens and secret corporate activities.

Source: Think Africa Press

See the full Health Poverty Africa report here. Health Poverty Africa have a petition addressed to the G20, demanding honest accounts of their relationship with Africa. Click here to sign.

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Posted on August 1, 2014, in Corporate political nexus, Government, Planning, Public relations, Taxpayers' money, Vested interests and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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