Who Is Benefitting? The Social and Economic Impact of Three Large-Scale Land Investments in Sierra Leone

Who Is Benefitting? The Social and Economic Impact of Three Large-Scale Land Investments in Sierra Leone

Report by Action for Large-Scale Land Acquisition Transparency in Sierra Leone (July 2013)

Curtis Research contributed to this report, researching and writing section 6 and the Annex. This is an analysis of the revenue losses resulting from the large tax concessions the government of Sierra Leone is giving to agribusiness companies. The report calculates that Sierra Leone will lose around $188 million over 10 years in tax exemptions granted to three agribusiness investors alone – Addax Bioenergy, Socfin and Goldtree. The rest of the report examines the social and economic impact of large-scale land acquisitions managed by Addax, Socfin and Sierra Leone Agriculture.

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Malawi’s Mining Opportunity: Increasing Revenues, Improving Legislation

Malawi’s Mining Opportunity: Increasing Revenues, Improving Legislation

Report for Norwegian Church Aid-Malawi and Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace-Malawi (July 2013)

This report analyses Malawi’s tax revenues from mining, focusing on how legislation can be improved to ensure that Malawians benefit more from the country’s natural resources. The report finds that although mining makes up around 10 per cent of Malawi’s exports, it contributes less than 1 per cent of its total revenue. Tax incentives given to mining companies are costing Malawi at least 8 times more than the revenues received; a loss that could cover 60 per cent of the costs of the Ministry of Health.

The company managing the largest mining project in the country – Australian uranium miner, Paladin – has been given extensive tax incentives, meaning that it is paying very little in tax. Revenue losses to Malawi from the tax regime given to Paladin are calculated at $205–281 million over the 13 years of the project. It is encouraging that the government is committed to revising the mining legislation, but progress is slow and the currently proposed revision of the Mines and Minerals Act is little better than the existing Act.

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The UK Energy-Finance-Government Nexus

The UK Energy-Finance-Government Nexus

(May 2013)

This briefing, based on research commissioned by the World Development Movement, outlines the role played by British companies in controversial energy projects in developing countries. It shows the nexus of interests, and revolving door, between these companies and former and current civil servants and Ministers. Many British companies currently promoting dirty energy projects are managed or advised by former British officials. Furthermore, senior executives in these companies serve on government-linked advisory boards which shape the UK’s financial and trade policies. The nexus goes to the heart of government. Several Cabinet ministers have past or present links to the energy or finance companies under analysis.

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The Role of European Development Finance Institutions in Land Grabs

The Role of European Development Finance Institutions in Land Grabs

Report for Aprodev (May 2013)

This briefing, the result of a longer piece of research commissioned by Aprodev, analyses the involvement of nine European development finance institutions (DFIs) in investments where land grabs have been reported: FMO (Netherlands), DEG (Germany), CDC (UK), Norfund (Norway), Finnfund (Finland), Swedfund (Sweden), SIFEM (Switzerland), OeEB (Austria) and IFU (Denmark). It also analyses the internal guidelines of these DFIs and finds that they have insufficient safeguards in place to ensure that they are not involved in land grabs.

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Web of Power: The UK Government and the Energy-Finance Complex Fuelling Climate Change

Web of Power: The UK Government and the Energy-Finance Complex Fuelling Climate Change

Report for World Development Movement (March 2013)

This report, written by WDM to which Curtis Research contributed research, shows the links between current and former British ministers and officials and the finance and energy companies driving climate change. The report highlights the extent to which British companies currently promoting dirty energy projects in developing countries are managed or advised by former British officials and that senior executives of many of these same companies are currently serving as members of government-linked advisory boards which shape the UK’s financial and trade policies. These companies are likely to be exerting influence over government policy on energy projects and on its wider financial and trade policies, which thus may have been captured by this nexus of personal interests.

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The Hunger Games: How DFID Support for Agribusiness is Fuelling Poverty in Africa

The Hunger Games: How DFID Support for Agribusiness is Fuelling Poverty in Africa

Report for War on Want (December 2012)

This report shows that hundreds of millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money is being used to promote projects designed to benefit some of the world’s richest agribusiness corporations and to extend their control over the global food system. DFID is at the centre of an intricate nexus of corporations and donor-sponsored institutions seeking to maximise private profit from agriculture. Personal connections play a vital role, and there is a significant ‘revolving door’ of staff between DFID and agribusiness corporations, with the personal links going beyond DFID to the heart of the UK government and its economic policy. In addition, this report reveals DFID’s involvement in a network of private enterprises and investment fund managers incorporated in the secrecy jurisdiction of Mauritius.

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Briefing on London Mining Agreement in Sierra Leone

Briefing on London Mining Agreement in Sierra Leone

Briefing for National Advocacy Coalition on the Extractives, Sierra Leone (April 2012)

This briefing analyses the fiscal terms of the revised mining agreement between the UK-based London Mining with the government of Sierra Leone. It finds that while the new agreement is an improvement over the current one it contains 11 provisions inconsistent with Sierra Leone’s legislation while some of its terms are actually worse than in the current agreement. The new agreement should not be ratified in its present form, since Sierra Leone will unnecessarily lose badly-needed revenues. Increasing revenues from mining must be a top priority for the government, along with ensuring transparency in such revenues as under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

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Sierra Leone at the Crossroads: Seizing the Chance to Benefit from Mining

Sierra Leone at the Crossroads: Seizing the Chance to Benefit from Mining

Report for National Advocacy Coalition on Extractives, Sierra Leone (March 2009)

This report shows how the people of Sierra Leone could benefit more from the country’s mineral resources, which account for 90 per cent of exports but only $9-10 million in government revenues. It shows how mining tax laws have given away too much to companies while government policies to regulate the mining sector are poor or non-existent. Includes case studies of the two largest foreign investors, Sierra Rutile and Koidu Holdings.

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A Golden Opportunity: How Tanzania is Failing to Benefit from Gold Mining

A Golden Opportunity: How Tanzania is Failing to Benefit from Gold Mining

Report for Tanzanian NGOs (October 2008)

This report is an analysis of gold mining and tax payments in Tanzania. Although Tanzania is one of Africa’s largest gold exporters, ordinary people benefit little, since the government has implemented tax laws that are overly favourable to mining companies and because of the policies of those companies themselves, notably AngloGold Ashanti and Barrick.

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Precious Metal: The Impact of Anglo Platinum in South Africa

Precious Metal: The Impact of Anglo Platinum in South Africa

Report for ActionAid (March 2008)

This report analyses the operations in South Africa of the world’s largest platinum producer, Anglo Platinum, a company majority-owned by the British mining giant, Anglo American. The findings suggest that company activities have deprived communities of agricultural land while community protests are often met by police brutality and company legal action.

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