World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Illicit Financial Outflows from Africa Cripple Development

Illicit Financial Outflows from Africa Crippling Continent’s Development – UN

New York, Feb 6 2014 - United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and former South African President Thabo Mbeki today stressed the need for global efforts to address the problem of illicit financial flows from Africa, which have crippled the continent’s development over the last few decades.

It is estimated that Africa loses over $50 billion a year in illicit financial flows, far exceeding the amount of official development assistance the continent receives.

Addressing the opening session of the High-level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, held at UN Headquarters, Mr. Eliasson said the $50 billion in losses is a “staggering” figure that represents damage to individuals and Africa’s development and governance agenda as a whole.

“If we can stop Africa from losing resources in illicit outflows, then these funds can be directed to meeting the needs of the continent’s people and allowing them to build a better future,” he stated.

The High-level Panel, established by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Union (AU), was inaugurated in February 2012 to address the debilitating problem of the illicit financial flows from continent. It is chaired by Mr. Mbeki and composed of nine other distinguished personalities from within and outside Africa.

Mr. Mbeki told a news conference after the session that the money lost each year is capital which is “generated within the continent, belongs within the continent, but then leaves by these illicit means.”

About two thirds of the illicit outflows originate from the activities of multinational corporations, while about 30 per cent or so arise from “straightforward criminal activity,” including narcotics and human trafficking, as well as corrupt practices.

As for where the money is going once it leaves the continent, Mr. Mbeki said the receiving countries are the developed countries as well as the tax havens.

“We’ve got to try and understand this matter of this illicit capital outflows out of the continent, both from the point of view of we, the exporting continent, and then the receiving countries so that our recommendations will have to address both ends of this.”

The Panel is currently in the United States to meet with representatives of the US Government, private sector, academia civil society, and multilateral institutions to discuss the issue of illicit financial flows.

It is expected to submit its final report by June this year. The report will include observations about the problem, as well as detailed proposals on how both the continent and the rest of the world can respond.

For more details go to UN News Centre at


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Binoy Kampmark: US Bomb Strikes Hospital In Kunduz

According to US military sources, “there may have been collateral damage” to the medical facility. “This incident is under investigation.” A statement issued by the office of the President Ashraf Ghani said that Army General John Campbell, chief of US-led forces in Afghanistan, apologised. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: The Fall Of Tony Abbott

The question was one of timing. The Coalition had been registering losses in poll after poll. The Abbott style hardly improved after a spill was forced on the party. Despite claiming that he would be ushering in a spring clean, he continued bypassing ministers and MPs... More>>



Pacific.Scoop: Smaller Pacific States Call For Coal Moratorium

PNG Loop: Leaders of the Pacific Smaller Island States have called on all nations – especially the advanced economies in the region – to rise to the challenge of climate change. They want to steer the world on a path where climate change is no longer a threat to earth. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news