African Union High Level on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa

Symposium on IFFs: Recover and Reinvest: Applying Recovered Proceeds of Corruption to Development Financing in Africa

It is common knowledge that several African economies have a nagging public debt burden. However, in real terms, outside of Oceania, Africa has the lowest public debt in the world. The challenge with Africa is that most of its debt is owed to non-African creditors and the debts are contracted in foreign currency thereby exposing African countries to currency volatility. Another challenge is that these non-African creditors consider the African market as risky, thereby charging higher interest on our loans. While African countries are struggling to finance public debt which ordinarily should be within the capacity of African economies to accommodate, it is estimated that Africa loses about $140 Billion annually to corruption.

Symposium on IFF: Illicit Financial Flows: An Impediment to Africa’s Sustainable Development Introduction

There is no gainsaying the fact that Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) constitute a major impediment to Africa’s sustainable development. In fact, IFFs have a direct impact on a country’s ability to raise, retain and mobilise its own resources to finance sustainable development. Its negative impact further includes draining a country’s foreign exchange reserves, reducing domestic resource mobilization, preventing the flow of benefits of foreign direct investment, and worsening insecurity, poverty and economic inequality.