KENYA: Biwott is back again
Three anti-corruption campaigners have left the scene as Total Man returns – The drive against corruption has run out of steam. President Mwai Kibaki’s National Rainbow Coalition was elected in January 2003 on a straightforward anti-corruption platform. Today, independent analysts estimate corruption has reached the levels of the preceding government under Daniel arap Moi. Now Kibaki is regularly seen alongside the central figure in the government he defeated, Nicholas Kipyator Biwott. Investigation of the multimillion dollar Goldenberg export subsidy scandal, in which witnesses accused Biwott of playing a leading role, has been shelved indefinitely.
Egypt wants its own man to run an all-Africa bank but everyone else is angry. Leadership in Africa is an old Egyptian dream. It looks a lot less solid since President Hosni Mubarak’s government expelled Jean-Louis Ekra, the new Ivorian president of Afreximbank, a multilateral African trade bank based in Cairo. Ekra is temporarily running Afreximbank from London; Egypt has written to its correspondent banks there, urging them not to follow Ekra’s instructions. The Bank’s board threatens to move it to another African state and wants the Egyptian government both to rescind the expulsion order on Ekra and to reverse instructions from the Central Bank of Egypt that two state-owned banks must default on loans worth US$40 million.
Race for the presidency
The race to choose a new president for the African Development Bank is becoming increasingly bitter and political ahead of its annual meeting, due in Abuja, Nigeria, on 17-19 May. With the African Union now negotiating peace treaties and running peacekeeping operations and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NePAD) managing development projects and recruiting investors, there is a much bigger role for the ADB.