Global Day of Action on Military Spending 2014 – Presentation on National, Regional & Continental Military Expenditure

 

Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) Africa 2014 Ufungamano House

Nairobi, Kenya 14th April 2014

Presentation on National, Regional & Continental Military Expenditure

Presentation by:                       David C. Otieno

Convener CCI & Convener GDAMS Africa

                                                     +254 708 566 022/+254 721 609 699

                                                    oticdesq@gmail.com, www.ccikenya.net,

Introduction

Annually, several Civil Society Organizations, Faith Based Organizations, Community Based Organizations and Peace Groups gather to mark the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) in several locations across the globe. The GDAMS initiative was co-founded in 2011 by the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

Since then activists from around the globe have participated in events to mark this day holding activities ranging from demonstrations, to lectures and charity activities all aimed at calling for a reduction of military spending.

It is worth noting that Kenya has marked the day since 2011 and this year Kenya was admitted to be part of the International Steering Committee (ISC) that coordinates the GDAMS initiative globally.

In Kenya, the past GDAMS have been marked by several activities with the 2011 event being marked by a photo opportunity by a group of students in Eastland Nairobi. The 2012 and 2013 days were marked by street demonstrations led by the Coalition for Constitution Implementation (CCI) where activists called on withdrawal of Kenyan forces from Somalia.

Today as we mark GDAMS 2014, the total global military expenditure stands at $1750 billion per year and activists around the globe today shall be arguing that if a small fraction of this would be spent differently, then it would go a long way to resolving the real and very grave challenges facing our planet.

However this is a modest fall from the previous years. According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report, the top 10 global spenders in 2013 in that order are, USA (significant decrease since 2012), China (significant increase), Russia (moderate increase), Saudi Arabia (large increase), France (small decrease), UK (small decrease), Germany (No change), Japan (approximately No change), India (approximately No change) and South Korea (small increase).

Fall in US spending can be attributed partly to reduction in spending on Iraq and Afghanistan wars while continuing falls in western and central Europe is attributed to austerity measures due to global economic meltdown. There has however been a large increase in Eastern Europe particularly in Russia and Ukraine and this is expected to increase as the two countries grandstand due to the Crimea crisis.

While there has been a general global decline in military expenditure, Africa has had a general increase in military expenditure with Algeria exceeding $10 billion for first time in 2013 while in the same period; Angola overtook South Africa as largest spender in the SADC region. Increases in Algeria and Angola are attributed to high oil revenues.

This paper is analysing the Kenyan military expenditure in comparison to other countries in East Africa and also with other select African states for the period ranging from 2009 to 2012. Data used here have been sourced from SIPRI report which has been compiling military expenditure of several countries in the last 25 years.

Kenya’s Military Expenditure

Kenya has had a steady increase in military expenditure in the past four years and this can be attributed to several challenges relating to security. However some schools of thought argue that the security challenges and threats facing Kenya are as a result of misplaced military priorities and the incursion of Somalia. Table 1 below shows the Kenyan Military Expenditure for the period beginning 2009 to 2012, the percentage to the GDP and value in $.

Table 1: Kenya Military Expenditure (2009 – 2012).

Year KSh (Billions) %age GDP USD. (Millions)
2009 48.247 1.9 597
2010 50.327 1.9 633
2011 64.537 1.9 642
2012 70.290 1.9 798

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

It is estimated that Kenya’s military expenditure has almost tripled in the last decade according to SIPRI report. Kenya is said to have spent close to KSh70 billion in 2012 up from KSh20 billion in 2004 translating to an increase of about KSh50 billion.

The report further states that in the last decade, Kenya has spent cumulatively over KSh400 billion raising questions over the impact of such huge spending on security of citizens.

Kenya Military Expenditure Compared to other Sectors

In 2013 Kenya allocated a whooping KSh74 billion to security compared to KSh34.7 billion to health, KSh38.1 billion to agriculture and KSh55.4 billion to water, environment, irrigation and housing. In 2012, Kenya allocated the military sector close to KSh70 billion compared to other sectors like irrigation that was allocated a paltry KSh8 billion, Welfare of orphans, which was allocate KSh4.4 billion and KSh1.1 billion to the elderly persons of the society. Youth Development Fund and Women Development Fund were allocated KSh550 million and KSh450 million respectively

Kenyan Military Expenditure in Comparison with Other East African States

In 2012, Kenya was ranked top in East Africa in terms of military expenditure importing more weapons than other peers in the East African region over the same period. According SIPRI report, the total expenditure of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi combined still fell below the Kenyan total expenditure.

Tanzania was a distant second in terms of military expenditure followed by Uganda. Rwanda and Burundi spent the least. Table 2 below shows the East Africa Countries Comparative Military Expenditure for the period beginning 2009 – 2012 ($USD Million).

Table 2: East Africa Countries Comparative Military Expenditure 2009 – 2012 ($USD Million)

  Kenya Tanzania Uganda Rwanda
2009 597 221 292 77
2010 633 253 624 76.5
2011 642 266 578 75.4
2012 798 319 319 79.8

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

The increasing military expenditure by Kenya can be attributed to the following:

  • Increasing incidences of terror attacks like the Westgate siege and church attacks that have led to lose of lives.
  • ‘Operation Linda Nchi’ that saw Kenyan Defence Forces invade Somalia in response to several cases of kidnappings some involving foreign nationals and in search of Al Shabaab who were blamed for such kidnappings.

In 2010 and 2011, Uganda spent a total of $1,202 million on the military sector almost comparing to Kenya that spent $1,275 during the same period. Ugandan lawmakers have continued to question the ballooning military expenditure especially in the same period and have failed to get a link to improved security with such increasing expenditures. However the government attributes such surge in military expenditure during the period to terrorism, Lords Resistant Army (LRA) threat and subsequent crackdown.

Table 3: East Africa Countries Comparative Military Expenditure 2009 – 2012 %age of GDP

  Kenya Tanzania Uganda Rwanda
2009 1.9 1.0 1.8 1.4
2010 1.9 1.1 3.4 1.3
2011 1.9 1.1 3.2 1.2
2012 1.9 1.1 1.3 1.1

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

Kenyan Military Expenditure in Comparison with Other African States

In 2012, Kenya ranked seventh in military expenditure. South Africa topped in Africa in terms of military expenditure spending over $4,785 million over the same period. It was followed by Angola at $3,827 million with Morocco, Libya and Nigeria occupying position three, four and five respectively.

Table 4: Select Africa Countries Comparative Military Expenditure with Kenya 2009 – 2012 ($USD Million)

  South Africa Angola Morocco Libya Nigeria Kenya
2009 4,590 3,640 3,101 1,825 597
2010 4,434 3,894 3,319 2,143 633
2011 4,596 3,647 3,343 2,388 642
2012 4,785 3,827 3,582 2,987 2,337 798

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

South Africa’s high expenditure can be attributed to quest to become a continental superpower, increasing military threats in the region and terrorism. Angola’s can be attributed to high oil revenue while Morocco, Libya and Nigeria could be due to terrorism and religious fundamentalism that is threatening to tear the nations apart.

Table 5: Select Africa Countries Comparative Military Expenditure with Kenya 2009 – 2012 %age of GDP

  South Africa Angola Morocco Libya Nigeria Kenya
2009 1.3 4.3 3.4 0.9 1.9
2010 1.2 4.2 3.5 1.0 1.9
2011 1.1 3.5 3.4 1.1 1.9
2012 1.1 3.5 3.5 3.2 1.0 1.9

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

DRC

Table 6: DRC Military Expenditure (2009 – 2012).

Year Francs. (Millions) %age GDP USD. (Millions)
2009 99.1 1.1 154
2010 166 1.4 209
2011 220 1.5 239
2012 283 1.7 308

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

Conclusion

While the African Continent has continued to have an increase in military expenditure, questions have been asked to the effect that such huge expenditure on the continental military could be avenues for corruption and sleaze as such huge allocations to the military in the continent do not necessarily translate to security.

In most African countries, lawmakers and the public are not allowed to interrogate some portion of military allocation due to secrecy and classification of some of the expenditure in the name of national security.

In Uganda for example, there is a fraction of the military expenditure categorised under ‘classified expenditure’ therefore locking lawmakers and public from scrutinising such expenditure. While appearing before house Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Ugandan Chief of Defense Forces, Gen Katumba Wamala, failed to explain to the PAC how almost a third of the country’s expenditure that was hidden under the classified expenditure were spent citing laws that do not allow lawmakers to discuss classified expenditure due to state security.

The lawmakers have however raised a red flag of possible corruption as the portion of military expenditure under the classified expenditure almost tripled in 2013/2014 budget compared to the previous years.

In Kenya the situation is the same as the parliament is not allowed to view some military expenditures due to national security and immediately after the Westgate at attack, top military officers could not divulge details of the operation due to national security while in Nigeria, CSOs are not allowed to discuss military expenditure again due to state security.

It is therefore recommended that:

  1. The African governments should lift the secrecy act that locks out interrogation of military expenditure by public and CSOs.
  2. Anticorruption agencies should investigate military expenditure in the continent to ascertain whether such secrecy acts are for the purposes of widening corruption networks.
  3. The African states should invest in peaceful means to resolving problems so as to save the taxpayers from funding conflicts that could hitherto be resolved peacefully.
  4. The African states should channel some of the allocations on the military to provision of basic social welfare as most conflicts are due to access of basic needs.
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Global Day of Action on Military Spending 2014 – Presentation on National, Regional & Continental Military Expenditure

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s