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African Union summit

January 24, 2014 - ETHIOPIA

The African Union plans to unveil "Agenda 63" at its summit in Addis Ababa 24-31 Jan 2014, and the bloc can be counted on to press again for immunity from international prosecution for the continent's leaders while they hold office.

The demand, made at the AU emergency summit in Oct 2013, pertains at present to Sudanese President Oman al-Bashir of Sudan and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. Both face charges in the International Criminal Court for their alleged roles in mass murders in their own countries. "Agenda 63" describes a 50-year goal of rekindling Pan-Africanism and for fostering "an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena." Two big obstacles to the goal are tax evasion and corruption. A report in May from Global Financial Integrity and the African Development Bank notes that Africa lost between US $597 billion and US $1.4 trillion in net resource transfers away from the continent between 1980 and 2009, the proceeds of bribery, theft, kickbacks and tax evasion and avoidance.

African Union

African leaders seek shield from international courts (Globe & Mail 3 Oct 2014)

Committee says billions lost to corporate tax evasion (Reuters 14 Oct 2013)

Date written/update: 2013-11-20