Category: Corruption


Cameroon’s president-for-life spends at least 15% of his time outside his country

Americans frustrated with president Donald Trump’s golfing habits can take solace: Their leader isn’t as elusive as the president of Cameroon. President-for-life Paul Biya has been in power since 1982—35 years in total. But the 85-year-old spent less than 30 of those in Cameron itself, according to an investigation by the OCCRP, an anti-corruption NGO. ...


Nigeria’s kleptocrats have a toxic love affair with London’s expensive real estate

London The prevailing narratives about corruption in Nigeria rarely mention its international dimension. They tend to gloss over how the United Kingdom, United States, and other financial centers welcome the steady stream of illicit cash flowing out Africa’s largest economy. Yet the country’s kleptocrats are increasingly exploiting weaknesses in the international financial system to launder ...


A dodgy balance sheet just cost one of the richest South Africans his billionaire status

Steinhoff’s drive to become the African Ikea has been halted by allegations of corruption. German authorities are investigating the furniture retailer for allegedly inflating its balance sheet in recent years. The investigation has been a blow to the company and cost its main shareholder and one of the richest South Africans, Christo Wiese, his billionaire ...


Grace Mugabe’s PhD ‘the greatest academic fraud in history’: academics

Academics in Zimbabwe and South Africa have poured scorn on Grace Mugabe’s controversial PhD, pointing out that it doesn’t meet the minimum standard for a doctoral thesis.


George Weah is trying to kick-start a pay-cut revolution for Liberia’s highly-paid political class

Even though it is one of Africa’s poorest countries, being a highly placed Liberian lawmaker or cabinet members is a lucrative gig. But that could soon change. New president George Weah may have set the ball rolling for reduction in government salaries by taking a 25% pay-cut himself. Weah says he’s taking the pay-cut due ...


The tobacco industry is luring African farmers with bogus promises of prosperity

“We have more than 20,000 … small-scale farmers growing tobacco … the industry is critical in reducing poverty levels.” Or so says an official with the Zambian Development Agency who we interviewed for our study on the political economy of trade, tobacco control and tobacco farming. He was not alone in this opinion, a common ...


France has sentenced the playboy son of Africa’s longest serving president to three years in jail

Teodorin Obiang, the playboy son of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea’s leader, and the country’s current vice president, has been found guilty of corruption and sentenced to three years in jail in France. The sentence comes after a long investigation by French authorities into allegations that Obiang embezzled $175 million from his country to buy luxury cars, ...


Bitcoin’s rise in African markets is driven by an old Russian ponzi scheme

“Welcome to the System! Together we will change the world!” These are the words I found scrawled at the bottom of a web page, right next to a picture of Sergei Mavrodi, a convicted Russian fraudster infamous for operating Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox (or MMM), one of the world’s largest ponzi schemes. Two decades after MMM ...


Africa’s political elites have built the same wealth plundering structures as the colonialists

The story of corruption in Africa is not new: tens of millions of dollars missing from Kenya’s ministry of health; billions in mining exports never reaching government coffers in the DR Congo; and cabinet members in Nigeria using bribes received in exchange for lucrative government contracts to buy condos in New York and Paris. Corruption ...

The birthplaces of African leaders receive an awful lot of aid

IN 2010 Yang Jiechi, then China’s foreign minister, visited Yoni, a village in Sierra Leone. Mr Yang had a job to do: hand over a fancy new school, financed by Chinese aid, to the local authorities. Sierra Leone certainly needed more schools, but some wondered why the Chinese chose the middle of the bush for ...