On December 9-10, TrustAfrica, the Open Society Institute for West Africa (OSIWA) and Global Financial Integrity (GFI) will be co-sponsoring the “Forum on Illicit Financial Flows in Africa.” Th Forum will take place at the Terrou-Bi Hotel in Dakar, Senegal, with his excellence, the Minister of Economy and Finance for Senegal, M. Amadou Ba. Among the many activities scheduled at the Forum, participants will receive key findings of the GFI 2012 report on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa and discuss the key trends, risks and costs to the region. Additionally, the forum will look to establish a regional platform on illicit financial flows for campaigning and advocacy.
The resource drain in Africa is coming in the form of both licit flows – such as investment, foreign aid, debt relief, and remittances moving in and out of the county – and illicit flows – such as the proceeds of crime, corruption, and tax evasion. According to GFI researchers, some of these illicit flows are attributed to oil price rises (minerals and other natural resources) and many of these leakages occur through corruption.
“While research has proven that Africa is a net creditor in the world, we are yet to see a concerted effort on the part of African governmental regional bodies and multilateral agencies to address the scourge of illicit financial flows from Africa. Africa can only truly develop when sufficient measures are put in place to repatriate resources that were illicitly extracted from the continent and also to hold onto the proceeds from our natural resources,” said Akwasi Aidoo, Executive Director of TrustAfrica.
The looting of wealth in Africa over the past 30 years is nearly equal to Africa’s current Growth Domestic Product (GDP) and has seriously deprived Africans of much needed financial stimulus. Though Africa has experienced unprecedented economic growth in many countries, this leap forward has failed to translate into better lives for its people and continues to dwarf the efforts of donor countries to help.
The OSIWA, TrustAfrica, and GFI two-day forum will bring together a host of stakeholders, including regional bodies, government representatives, anti-corruption agencies, International Financial institutions, and civil society to discuss key findings of the report with the intent of creating a strong public action to collaborate and fight against illicit flows.