These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
"As negotiations heat up ahead of the Fourth High Level Forum on aid effectiveness (HLF-IV), many countries are keen to move beyond a narrow aid effectiveness agenda, bringing in a broader range of actors and issues in recognition of the changing development landscape. Emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil are becoming ever more important. The demand for Africa’s oil and mineral resources is growing, providing many African countries with new revenue streams. Traditional donors’ aid budgets are under pressure. And people are taking to the streets and the twitter-verse to demand more transparent and accountable governance, from north Africa to north America and beyond. However, broadening the conversation to include more actors and issues beyond aid, must not and need not be at the expense of clear, measurable and time-bound commitments on aid effectiveness." READ MORE
The Guardian Data Blog
It's business as usual when it comes to companies paying bribes
"Companies from the world's most powerful economies are still thought to routinely pay bribes when doing business abroad, despite a steady stream of new laws and international commitments to stamp out foreign bribery, according to an index that aims to balance the "blame" for corruption between developed and developing countries.
Russia and China, which together invested some $120bn overseas in 2010, are ranked the lowest in the latest Bribe Payers Index, published on Wednesday by anti-corruption campaign group Transparency International. Firms from other "emerging economies" – including Mexico and Indonesia – are also among those seen as most likely to bribe abroad." READ MORE
Space for Transparency
Bribe Payers Index 2011: When trade is anything but free
"As the G20 prepare to meet in Cannes, Transparency International’s new report serves as a timely reminder of some unwarranted consequences of trade and investment and the need for a global effort to stop corruption in all its forms. Deborah Hardoon, Senior Research Coordinator, discusses the global impact of the countries ranked in the 2011 Bribe Payers Index.
As trade and investment cross borders, bribery, illicit financial flows and stolen assets can too, unless there is a global effort to stop corruption in all its forms.
Today, Transparency International publishes the 2011 Bribe Payers Index. The index is a reminder that bribery and corruption are a global issue. It deliberately focuses on suppliers of bribes: companies from the wealthiest countries that use bribery in their international business dealings. The Bribe Payers Index holds both these companies, and the countries they are from, to account for their role in providing the financial incentives that propagate bribery and corruption around the world." READ MORE
"Africa is being tipped to pass one billion mobile subscriptions to become the world’s second largest mobile market by 2016 according to new research from analyst firm Informa.
Mobile activations in the continent, which currently stand at 616 million, are estimated to grow by more than 60 percent over the next five years making the region the world’s second largest telecom market behind only Asia.
Informa explains that the development of the region’s “relatively immature telecoms market” — thanks to increased competition and lower costs — combined with the continued growth of Africa’s population are the primary reasons for its growth predictions. The use of 3G is also tipped to rise at a strong rate from 6.6 percent of Africa’s total mobile subscribers today to 46 percent by the end-2016." READ MORE
"A new Freedom House report, Countries at the Crossroads 2011,concludes that success in the Arab democratic revolution will require major reforms in government institutions that had been seriously undermined during previous authoritarian regimes. The report predicts that failure to institute thoroughgoing reforms in areas like adherence torule of law, accountability of the army and security services, protection from state abuse, and official corruption could lead to the ascendance of forces that are hostile to freedom and committed to the reassertion of autocratic rule.
The report notes that while long-entrenched authoritarian leaders have been forced to give way to popular pressure for change, these breakthroughs carry no guarantee that democratically accountable systems will follow in their wake." READ MORE