New days for Africa: investments and whistle-blowing

Sub-saharan Africa is finally seeing the higher investment levels sorely needed:

Afrileaks exposesAs reported by the Financial Times, “The first $1bn-plus Africa-focused private equity fund has been raised by Helios Investment Partners, a London-based group founded almost a decade ago by a pair of Nigerian-born dealmakers. The record size of the fund signals the growing appetite for a continent that until a few years ago had been largely ignored by global investors.”

This follows a recent $1.6 billion Africa fund launched by Angola, and a $1 billion investment in Mozambique coal by Mitsui.

Meanwhile, Afrileaks launched earlier this year; its mission is to shine a light on shady dealings in a way that does not prove life-threatening for the whistle-blowers.

Given that there is little press freedom in the region, it is notable and emboldening that several local media outlets have signed on in Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, and even Zimbabwe, where autocrats have held peoples’ freedom by the throat for decades.

According to the people launching Afrileaks such as Khadija Sharife and Giovanni Pellarano, “we have seen how vicious the response is [to whistle-blowers Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning] but the truth is worth fight for whatever the consequences.” And they recognize that the dangers “are all exacerbated… in African countries” where the weak state apparatus offers little protection.

Author: Brad Michaels

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