IFFs and Development

Symposium on IFFs: “Make Noise!” Revolt and the State’s Illicit Flows

The Gabonese duffel bags of cash televised in September this year demonstrate the inadequacy of existing measures to stem state-abetted graft. The African Union’s High Level Panel (HLP) on IFFs promotes policy harmonization, however, its non-binding provisions slip towards toothlessness, given that states themselves drive SIFFs. Implementing the HLP needs muscular institutional ruptures with graft. Crucially, existing anticorruption measures are crippled by the fact that SIFFs blur the lines between licit and illicit finances. Therefore, policymakers should embed anti-corruption norms within the constitution to enable the people to revolt against enduring SIFF regimes such as the Bongo dynasty.

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.