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'Transparency' hides Zambia's lost billions

African nations such as Zambia are often seen as grossly corrupt. Yet it is corporate tax "avoidance" on the part of mining companies that costs the nation hundreds of millions annually, while lining the pockets of middle-men in countries such as Switzerland. And the much-lauded Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) may help - rather than hinder, this reality...[T]hus catching revenue leakage through EITI...is impossible because it does not focus on what multinationals ought to have paid, only what they have paid, and it never investigates the means through which corporations were able to circumvent taxation...It is a disadvantage, locked into the EITI system, designed to present an illusion of accountability where none exists. So, while EITI may be good news for the companies involved in Zambia, casting them in a clean light, the same cannot really be said for the country's citizens who are being shortchanged. [also refers to Shell, Chevron, Vale, BHP Billiton, Anglo-American, Glencore, Mopani Copper Mines (part of Glencore)]