Stop financial illicit outflows, says Mbeki
Former President Thabo Mbeki says Africa's retention of money generated on the continent would go a long way in helping the continent achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development goals (SDGs).
He was speaking at a meeting in Nairobi of the African Union's High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Outflows, which he heads.
The continent currently loses at least $ 50 billion every year to illicit financial outflows.
False trade invoicing, tax evasion and money laundering are just some of the ways the continent is losing billions of dollars every year.
Mbeki says, "The figures indicate that two thirds are due to activities of commercial companies, the other 30 - 35 % is from criminal activities, like drugs dealings, human, guns and all that kind of crime."
He says Africa could have managed to reduce the deaths of children under five next year, if governments had stepped in at the turn of the century and stopped illicit capital outflows of the continent.
The outflows which left the continent illegally must return
The meeting in Nairobi that brought together financial experts, participants heard how the continent has lost more than $1 trillion in the last 50 years in illicit financial Flows.
That is estimated to be more than foreign Direct Investment and official aid development combined.
Now Africa is rallying the world to help the continent retain the money at home, already Nigeria's President Muhamadu Buhari is making strides in repatriating funds stashed abroad.
Mbeki says, “The outflows which left the continent illegally must return and it would be very good could succeed in this because it would encourage the rest of the continent to work with the same vigour in terms of country that are suffering from the same phenomena."
The report on illicit Financial Flows was adopted by the African Union Heads of States in January this year, it will now be presented to the UN during the General Assembly next week.