Commenting on the G20’s announcement of its first Initiative on Supporting Industrialization in Africa, the Chinese publication Global Times praises the shift from “the aid-dependent development model” to a focus on “investment and cooperation,” citing the role of the China-Africa Development Fund. “With the leading effect of public finance, CADF leveraged 17 billion of private investment for those projects, which generated 2 billion worth of export and 1 billion of revenue growth for Africa.”
The government is again moving to privatize its banking sector. “Analysts estimate that it is difficult to know if the privatization of banks, via IPO, will attract foreign capital. Indeed, in June 2016, the listing of a state-owned cement plant was abandoned, due to a lack of demand.”The increase in water rates could be as high as 20-30% according to current reports. PSI affiliates in the country: the Government Services Employees Association (GSEA), the Federation of Parastatal Bodies and Other Unions (FPBOU) and the Local Authorities Employees Union (LAEU) have jointly launched a campaign against privatization of water services including an awareness-raising Conference on “Quality Public Services and Water Privatization” on 15 September followed by a march along the streets of Port Louis, the capital city of Mauritius.
In his inaugural lecture on the World Day of the Teacher in Bafoussam, Augustin Ntchamande says “in many countries, the increasing privatization of education has often been a source of disparities in terms of qualification and work of teachers and a loss of job security, especially among contract teachers.” The “liberalization and uncontrolled privatization of the education sector” has “resulted in a decline or even deleting of some previous social gains.”
The President of the Cameroon Federation of Education Trade Unions, Hobie Emmanuel Mbassi, says "the primary school is not free in Cameroon. Primary school is left to the parents. This is a kind of privatization of the school. We're privatizing it because it is the parents who finance it."
Global Energy Research reports that although a decree was published in 2000 for the liberalization of the downstream oil sector, “to date, only the SCDP (Société Camerounaise de Dépôts Pétroliers) has been partially privatized.” But it argues that “the country wants to boost the privatization of public companies.” [Global Energy Research, 2 October 2016]. The World Bank has been promoting privatization in Cameroon for at least two decades.
The executive board of the IMF pushes privatization. Directors “welcomed the remit of the new Ministry for Public Enterprises to strengthen the commercial profitability and governance of the key state-owned enterprises, while advancing in the privatization of those with a less strategic role. Fostering public sector oversight and transparency would enhance macroeconomic management and reduce fiscal risks.”
Employees of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) stage a protest at the company's head office in Accra, demanding the removal of Managing Director Robert Dwamena from office. The workers said the MD had exceeded the age of retirement. “The disgruntled [Public Utility Workers' Union of TUC] members have in recent times protested against the privatization of ECG and demanded the review of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact which reportedly has a roadmap for massive layoffs. The workers told the media in Accra that they had been reliably informed that the MD had been offered a one-year extension of his term. ‘That is what we are not happy about,’ they stated.”
A concerned citizen who is fighting against the privatization of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) “has petitioned the US Ambassador to investigate what he says are 'unethical' and 'unlawful' acts in the whole deal involving the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA). According to Richard Asante Yeboah, there is no transparency in the proposed Private Sector Participation (PSP) in ECG to be run by [Ghana’s] MiDA.” Copies of the petition were also sent to President Obama, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, he Speaker of Ghana's Parliament, both the majority and the minority leaders in parliament, as well as the Attorney General.
The French consulting firm FIT launched a feasibility study last month for a project of privatization and land registration for 46,000 hectares in the Gharb region. The project is funded by the American Millennium Challenge Corporation, “which supports the Moroccan ‘melkisation’ government program, that is to say redistribution of public land occupied by customary law, their current operators.”
Civil society and NGO advocates speak out against privatization. Labour has condemned the idea, “saying it will make a few to amass the wealth of all and deepen the seeming despair in the land,” reports AllAfrica’s Premium Times. “All the major labour unions, NLC, TUC, PENGASSAN, and NUPENG described those calling for the sale of national asset as ‘enemies of Nigeria.’ The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, described those behind the proposal as ‘economic vampires government must beware of.’ PENGASSAN also labeled the recommendation as a self-destructive move Nigerians must resist.”
The Chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria in Cross River State, Dr. Lawrence Ekwok, says “before taking a position on this, I would enjoin us to recall [the] past, ask questions about what happened to Nigeria’s national assets that were sold under the guise of commercialization and privatization in the past. (…) Apart from the fact that the assets were grossly undervalued, due process was not followed in most of the sales as ‘powerful’ government officials and businessmen were the ones who ‘bought’ most of the assets and most of the funds that were supposed to accrue to government coffers never came in.”
The acting Chairman of Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Shettima Gana, spoke out against the proposal to sell Nigeria LNG Limited saying it was improper to sell a company that “paid about $12.9 billion to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from its operations over an eight-year period.”
A former Director in the Budgetary Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Titus Okunronmu, said sale of the country's asset to boost the economy would further restrict income, as only very few would be able to buy them.
Writing in The Sun, Uche Atuma says “they already own everything. They own our politics, our economy and our money. Even the [Central Bank of Nigeria] is being privatized and controlled by this cartel. The same cartel now wants to control the water we drink and the air we breathe—to complete their vicious cycle of privatization. (…) Why will any sane government contemplate the sale of its 49 per cent equity in a thriving concern like the NLNG, which has two wholly- owned subsidiaries: Bonny Gas Transport and NLNG Ship Management Limited. The company’s total revenue from 1999 to 2015 was US$90.3billion while the figure for the last five years was US$ 48.54billion. Why sell such a concern? To whom and for what?”
Writing in Business Day, M.A. Johnson says “the prescription to sell national assets can only benefit a few rich individuals, while compromising Nigeria’s long term economic and national interests.” Since in the past “proceeds from the sale of oil, and privatization of other assets have been squandered,” public trust is “the missing link in governance.”
Members of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), in collaboration with Public Services International (PSI) and Environmental Right Action (ERA), have cautioned against privatizing water services highlighting that water is a human right and therefore cannot be commoditized or priced. A small delegation of representatives from the three organisations visited the FCT Water Board on 30 September to brief the FCT Water Board Management on the advantages of a Public-Public Partnership (PuP) as opposed to a Private-Private Partnership (PPP).
On World Teachers’ Day, and in the face of the privatization of their school system, Ugandan educators gathered for an event attended by the thousands to demand quality education for all. In Kampala, President Museveni “has joined thousands of teachers who have rallied today against the privatization and commercialisation of their education system by the for-profit edu-business Bridge International Academies (BIA) to amplify the meaning of the theme. Bridge International Academies, known to many as Bridge, is a multinational chain of low-fee profit-making private primary schools targeting poor families in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, among other countries. In Uganda, Bridge has expanded rapidly since February 2015, with an estimated 12,000 fee-paying students in 63 schools. (…) On 6th April 2016, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education & Sports of Uganda decided to ‘halt the expansion’ of Bridge citing concerns regarding the legality of these schools in violation of the Education Act 2008.”