Wed Aug 3, 2016 9:12AM
View of a sign outside the building where Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm offices are in Panama City, on May 9, 2016. (AFP)
View of a sign outside the building where Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm offices are in Panama City, on May 9, 2016. (AFP)
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Is Africa now being carved up by a complicated web of offshore accounts, tax havens and tricky paper trails? New research seems to suggest this is exactly what’s going on.

Offshore companies connected to 44 of Africa’s 54 countries disturbingly appear in the Panama Papers leak. Over 1,400 companies in the files of offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca have names that indicate mining or resource extraction interests – raising fresh concerns about how tax havens can be used to exploit the natural wealth of the world’s poorest continent.

The scramble for Africa was once defined by men with guns forcibly taking what they wanted. Today, new research published by African partners of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists – ICIJ – which coordinated the initial investigation into Mossack Fonseca’s leaked files uncovered multiple areas of concern. Mossack Fonseca has long insisted it adheres to the letter and spirit of the law but with African interests being carved up, is it time to act?