Time: 3 p.m. (New York’s time)/9:00 p.m. (Liberia’s time| GMT) USA number: 712 451 0658 General Access Code for all numbers and countries: 352010 # Select your country from the list further below; dial the phone number listed and put in the General Access Code 352010# to join the conference call.


Guest Hosts:

Open Forum



NEW YORK – On Saturday, April 7, 2018, Globe Afrique Media and Communications, publishers of globeafrique.com will host a teleconference to discuss the following topics:

Critical Issues Facing Africa: Challenges for the Continent, Liberia as a case study.

  1. Dismal State of Press Freedom and attacks on journalists
  2. The proliferation of Restrictive Laws
  3. Governance and Corruption
  4. Illicit Financial Flows

Background

Dismal State of Press Freedom and attacks on journalists
Over the past years, and even now, press freedom has seen the largest attack of any other fundamental freedom in Africa, according to Freedom in the World 2015 and recent global analysis.  Authoritarian and out of touch governments in Africa continue to use legal pressure, imprisonment, and other forms of harassment to suppress independent reporting.

The proliferation of Restrictive Laws
Authoritarian regimes in Africa are increasingly exploiting their country’s legal framework to eliminate opposition rather than relying solely on violence and political suppression. According to Freedom House (UK), laws ostensibly designed to regulate civic activity or protect public order are manipulated to restrict the fundamental rights of citizens.  Ethiopia, for example, used its Anti-Terrorism Proclamation in April 2014 to charge 10 bloggers and journalists with threatening public safety for simply writing about human rights. In Kenya, several human rights organizations recently had their licenses canceled for alleged ties to terrorism – a decision that was eventually overturned by the High Court.   In Liberia, BBC’s Journalist Jonathan Paye-Le-Layleh escaped for fear of alleged reprisals and editor Rodney Sieh is under verbal attack for doing his job.

Governance and Corruption

Africa is becoming more and more corrupt every day and with every new administration. Tackling corruption with good governance is one of the most important challenges that African countries currently face. Without real and concrete reforms that dismantle the financial, political, and administrative structures that perpetuate corruption, countries in Africa will be unable to break the cycle of cronyism and bad governance that has constrained its tremendous potential for economic, political, and social development.  Along with political repression and economic stagnation, there is widespread fear that the perception of government corruption would allow extremist groups such as Boko Haram, AQIM and others to appear more attractive and legitimate to citizens craving stability and progress in sub-Sahara Africa.

Illicit Financial Flows

Another central issue is the level of phantom firms and lax financial transparency requirements, especially in African countries that are dependent upon resource-exportation, allow individuals to appropriate a country’s wealth and generate massive outflows of capital. The One Campaign estimates that over 70% of major corruption cases in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone involve phantom firms, financial entities that are currently almost impossible to trace or track without improvements in regulatory oversight, resulting in a tax loss of about $52 billion. Global analysts estimate that outflows remove capital from the economy and a significant portion of these outflows find their way to the off-source bank accounts of the country’s elite, increasing its personal wealth while decreasing taxable income and depriving the home market of capital for further development. Thus, in many cases, the average wealth and income of most citizens stagnate, and in some situations, these measures decrease over time, motivating some to call the phenomenon the resource curse.

These and much more are issues and matters we will be analyzing and discussing on Saturday, April 7, 2018, in an Open Forum.  The forum will also feature a cross-section of people from across the United States, Africa, and the world.

NOTE: Invite friends and family on the forum; it’s Toll-Free.  It’s important that we all participate in our continent’s political, social and economic affairs because real and genuine change can only be realized if everyone contributes.

Time: 3 p.m. (New York’s time)/9:00 p.m. (Liberia’s time| GMT) General Access Code for all numbers and countries: 352010 # Select your country, dial the phone number listed and put in the General Access Code 352010# to join the conference call. If your country isn’t listed then dial the USA number: 712 451 0658 and the General Access Code: 352010# to join the forum.

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