Editor’s Note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only weekly newsletter, Africa Watch, which includes a look at the week’s top stories and best reads from and about the African continent. Subscribe to receive it by email every Friday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings to receive it directly to your email inbox.
Nearly 50 politicians and public officials from 18 African countries have connections to secretive offshore financial structures and trusts in tax havens, according to the Pandora Papers investigation. The leaders implicated by the leaked files—the latest effort of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, or ICIJ—include Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo-Brazzaville, Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba and Prime Minister Patrick Achi of Cote d’Ivoire.
The revelations come at a time when debates over taxation, sovereign debt and capital flight from Africa are raging, against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout. The pandemic’s impact has underscored the difficulties faced by countries in Africa and the rest of the Global South in supporting their economies, providing social protection for the most disadvantaged, rolling out vaccination campaigns and even implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, which have a decade left to run.