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Focus on African Countries


Talking Points on Illicit Financial Flows and Tax Justice

  • Inequality and tax evasion are growing both within and between countries, while the rich on all continents funnel their wealth into secret bank accounts scattered around the world. This erodes the public sector, starves countries of funds needed for development, and drives up deficits.

  • The trend is worldwide as multinational companies shuttle money and subsidiaries between countries to minimize taxes, while the ultra-rich and organized crime hide their assets in untraceable shell accounts. But the toll in Africa is enormous, with losses estimated at $50 billion to $80 billion a year due to illicit capital flight.

  • One recent study, for example, estimated at least US$60.8 billion in losses due to transfer pricing in or out of 5 African Countries (Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda), from 2002-2011.

  • The good news is that governments and multilateral agencies around the world are waking up to this issue, and the pressure for transparency in financial reporting is growing. The same technical mechanisms that have been used to track funds of drug traffickers and terrorist networks can now be used, if there is political will, to track monies lost to illicit financial flows and tax evasion.

Recent bulletins on illicit financial flows and tax justice


AfricaFocus Bulletin

June 22, 2016  Africa/Global: "Stop the Bleeding" Updates
    "A new report by Tax Justice Network-Africa and ActionAid says that East African countries (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda) are losing approximately $2 billion a year of revenue each year by granting tax incentives to multinational companies. ... According to Yaekob Metena, ActionAid Tanzania's country director, 'Though there have been improvements in recent years in addressing the issue, governments in East Africa continue to give away domestic resources in tax incentives, funds that could pay for the regions' education and health needs and meeting the development objectives.'"

June 13, 2016  Africa/Global: Don't Be a Fossil Fool
    From solar TVs in rural Kenya to modular concrete for windmills in Iowa, the pace of technological advance continues to accelerate, making renewable fuels more and more competitive with fossil fuels. Technology alone will not be sufficient, of course. But these trends, combined with worldwide climate activism and increasing awareness among the public and government policy-makers, are leading even establishment analysts to conclude that, in the words of the Financial Times, "fossil fuel producers face a future of slow and steady decline."

Jun 2, 2016  Liberia/Global: Financial Secrecy at Work
    "Finance Uncovered, working with an anonymous Liberian journalist, has exposed a little-known offshore business registry that has created tens of thousands of anonymous companies and registered them to a non-existent address in Monrovia, Liberia's capital city. Although these companies are technically a creation of Liberian law, management of the registry is based in the United States and appears to have the support of the US government. ... Our investigation has discovered over half a billion pounds of high-value London property registered to Liberian offshore companies."

May 26, 2016  Africa/Global: Migrants' Rights Roundup
    the informal consensus was that the system of humanitarian response to today's crises is "broken." The calls to "leave no one behind" highlighted the particular vulnerability of the displaced. But it is clear that such non-binding resolutions will only be implemented by extensive mobilization on many fronts, including both those most affected and their allies.

More on: politics&human rights|peace&security|health|economy|ict

AfricaFocus Archive: by date | by place | by topic

May 13, 2016  
    Mozambique: Debt Crisis & the Panama Papers
May   5, 2016  
    Uganda: Accountability and Child Soldiers
April 27, 2016  
    Nigeria: Shapes of Violence, 2
April 27, 2016  
    Nigeria: Shapes of Violence, 1
April 11, 2016  
    Africa/Global: Panama Papers Tip of Iceberg
Apr   5, 2016  
    USA/Global: When Elephants Fight
March 23, 2016  
    Namibia: Meeting Expectations?
March 16, 2016  
    Africa: Tolerance and Intolerance in Perspective
March 9, 2016  
    Africa/Global: Making Choices on Climate Future
February 29, 2016  
    USA/Africa: Rising Opposition to Tax Evasion
February 16, 2016  
    Africa: Ghosts at the African Union Summit
February 1, 2016  
    Africa/Global: Accounting Tricks with Coca-Cola
January 25, 2016  
    Africa: Charting the Digital Gender Gap
January 19, 2016  
    Africa: Stealth Assault on African Seeds
December 10, 2015  
    Africa/Global: Beyond the Paris Climate Talks
December 1, 2015  
    Africa/Global: Changing "the Media"

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Africa News
Jun 27, 2016
AllAfrica | Debt
Mozambique: IMF Demands Forensic Audit of Loans
Nigeria: Special Report - Adenuga's Mountain of Debt: Several Firms, Amcon Chase Billionaire for Unpaid Bills
Zambia: Davies Chama Says PF Is Sad the Post Is 'Closed' Over Tax Debt
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