Obama and UK EU referendum plus Africa's offshore tax

Apr 22, 2016, 12:14 PM

I'm Russell Padmore with this Business Update from the BBC.

The headlines: President Barack Obama has urged the not to leave the European Union.

One of the founders of Apple has told the BBC the company should pay more tax.

The UN says rich people in Africa are responsible for much of the global movement of money to offshore tax havens.

And Nelson Mandela's widow has urged listed companies in Africa to employ more female directors.

Barack Obama has arrived in the UK and stirred up a storm by intervening in the debate over the UK's future membership of the European Union. The US leader claimed the country has benefited from membership in terms of jobs, trade and growth and he highlighted the planned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deal. James Rubin is a former US Assistant Secretary of State.

Campaigners urging people to vote for a British exit have accused Mister Obama of promoting what is best for the United States and not the UK. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, says Mister Obama is hypocritical.

One of the founders of Apple, Steve Wozniak, has told the BBC the technology giant should pay more tax. Apple has been using Ireland as a base outside the United States because the country has lower rates of corporation tax than many other nations.

The fallout from the Panama Papers has put the spotlight on Africa as the source of much of the funds that are deposited in offshore tax havens. The leak of eleven million documents revealed at least 17 African countries have prominent figures with offshore accounts. Nations that include Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The revelations are no surprise to Carlos Lopes, the Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Graca Machel has been a lifelong campaigner for women and children's rights. She has used her roles in politics and business to speak against some of the injustices that women have faced, from war zones to boardrooms. Graca Machel is also the widow of Africa's great statesman Nelson Mandela, and she says gender equality is an important part of the legacy he has left behind.

Music fans are mourning the loss of one of the record industry's popular singers and songwriters, Prince. We still do not know what caused the death of Prince who passed away at the age of 57. Mick Jagger said his talents were limitless and Annie Lennox called him a genius, a virtuoso. Fans have been gathering at his home in Minneapolis, to pay their respects and the BBC's Aleem Maqbool is with them.