Paramilitary tax collectors in Nairobi and Russian influence in Africa
Zambia suffered a setback in its debt restructuring efforts – the government announced that the revised agreement to convert Eurobonds worth $3 billion could not be implemented due to opposition from official creditors, including China. The military government of Mali, in turn, signed an agreement with Russia to build the largest gold refinery in the country. This is one of the consequences of the agreements on the exploration of energy resources signed between Mali and Russia in connection with the Russian authorities’ desire to expand their influence in the region.
Russia is also strengthening its African influence thanks to the beginning of grain supplies. The total volume of deliveries will amount to 200,000 t by the end of the year and the first recipients will be Somalia and Burkina Faso. Zimbabwe, Mali, Eritrea and the Central African Republic will also receive Russian grain. However, Russia remains a minor player in Africa – its bilateral trade with the continent amounted to USD 18 billion in 2022, compared to USD 282 billion in China’s exchange with Africa.
Kenyan authorities have decided to deploy 1,400 “paramilitarily trained” tax collectors in Nairobi to discourage potential resistance from taxpayers. It is a measure aimed at almost doubling government revenues to ¼ of GDP by 2030. Kenya has also introduced new carbon dioxide emissions, cars, fuels, income, and housing fees, as well as an aggressive method of collecting customs duties at the country’s main airport to reduce the debt of the Kenyan economy.