Billions lost to illicit outflows, claims ex-S.Africa president

Mbeki, who chairs the African Union's High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows, said some multinational companies were claiming to be making losses in an effort to evade taxes and illegally export capital from the continent.

Billions lost to illicit outflows, claims ex-S.Africa president

World Bulletin / News Desk

The African continent incurs losses worth $50 billion every year due to illicit financial outflows by some foreign companies in the continent, former South African president Thabo Mbeki has said.

"The continent loses $50 billion each year through mispricing," Mbeki said at the opening of a three-day conference aimed at discussing solutions to African problems late Thursday.

Trade wrong pricing means that a company manipulates the exports and imports to artificially depress profits and dodge tax.

Mbeki, who chairs the African Union's High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows, said some multinational companies were claiming to be making losses in an effort to evade taxes and illegally export capital from the continent.

"We need to have engagement with developed countries on this. And this is a major issue being discussed," Mbeki said.

A recent study by Global Financial Integrity (GFI) found that total illicit financial outflows from Africa were estimated at $854 billion during the period 1970 to 2008.

Sub-Saharan African countries experienced the bulk of illicit financial outflows with the West and Central African region posting the largest outflow numbers.

The top five countries with the highest outflow measured were: Nigeria ($89.5 billion) Egypt ($70.5 billion), Algeria ($25.7 billion), Morocco ($25 billion) and South Africa ($24.9 billion), according to the study.

Mbeki said that the African continent needs "good leaders" to address the continent's problems.

"Clearly there is something that has gone wrong with the quality of leadership on our continent," he said, going on to call on intellectuals attending the conference to come up with proposals that would answer the African needs.

"I learnt of a terrible story, the son of a former president has been arrested. What made me unhappy was the reason. The charge as I was told is of embezzling public funds to the tune of half a billion Euros," Mbeki said, declining to name the culprit.

More than 100 scholars, social activists, government officials and business leaders are attending the three-day conference.

The event is being organized by the Africa Institute of South Africa, a new division of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), in collaboration with several institutions and government departments.

"The main aim of the conference is to create awareness of why Africans must unite and respond to their challenges," Prof. Mammo Muchie, one of the event's organizers, told Anadolu Agency.

The conference will conclude by unveiling an "African renaissance and unity" manifesto meant to chart the way forward in Africa's quest for greater integration and economic and political unity.

Last Mod: 23 Mayıs 2014, 11:40
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