Africa loses nearly US$89 billion dollars annually from illicit financial flows – UN report

According to a report published by the United Nations, Africa suffers a yearly loss of approximately $89 billion US dollars as a result of illegal financial flows.

Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the Secretary of the Sunyani chapter of the Local Accountability Network, which is a group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) combating corruption and the individual who leaked the report, stated that tax evasion remained the bane of Africa’s growth.

Speaking at a public discussion held in Sunyani and sponsored by the Coalition to honor the 2023 African Union Anti-Corruption Day commemoration, he was doing so while participating in the event organized by the Network.

In Maputo, Mozambique, on July 11, 2003, the African Union (AU) officially ratified the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC). This day is celebrated as African Anti-Corruption Day.

Africa loses nearly US$89 billion dollars annually from illicit financial flows

As of August 2021, 44 of the African Union’s member countries had ratified the Convention, which went into effect in 2006.

Mr. Ahenu, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Global Media Foundation, an NGO that advocates for human rights and against corruption in the media, stated that Africa would not require any form of foreign aid to develop the continent if the leaders on the continent took decisive action to fight corruption. He stated that “western powers are only exploiting the continent through their supposed aid with wings.”

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“Corruption has long been a pressing issue in Africa, impeding the continent’s progress and hindering her development,” he said, lamenting the fact that despite efforts to combat the pervasive menace, corruption continued to plague various sectors of African society, from politics and public administration to business and law enforcement.

“Corruption has long been a pressing issue in Africa,” he said. “It has hindered the continent’s progress and hindered her development.”

Therefore, Mr. Ahenu emphasized the necessity of shining a light on the impact of corruption in Ghana and Africa in general in order to make the younger generations comprehend the negative impacts that corruption has on developing nations like Ghana.

“In fact, bribery, embezzlement, and nepotism have become common, thus sullying the image and tarnishing the reputation of politicians, and also eroding public confidence in governments,” he remarked. “This is dirtying up the image of politicians and tarnishing their reputation.”

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Mr. Ahenu voiced concern with the ongoing misuse of public funds that were intended for development. This has led to infrastructure that is not up to par in many areas around the country, as well as a lack of basic conveniences in those communities.

According to him, the public administration sector is also plagued by corruption, with stories of civil servants demanding bribes for services that should be supplied free of charge. Additionally, he claimed that bribery and kickbacks plague the public sector as a whole.

“This does not only impede the delivery of public services, but it also perpetuates a culture of corruption, as citizens are forced to engage in corrupt practices in order to access their fundamental human rights,” Mr. Ahenu bemoaned. “This is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken.”

He stated that corruption in the business sector was similarly concerning, as businesses frequently participated in corrupt practices in order to acquire contracts or gain preferential treatment, which undermined fair competition and stifled economic growth.

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As a result, Mr. Ahenu issued a challenge to the young people of Africa, asking them to organise and take a stand against corruption.

He also urged the leaders of Africa to do more to increase resources for anti-corruption institutions and to strengthen them so that they can make their work relevant by increasing transparency and accountability and promoting a culture of integrity.

Mr. Ahenu stated that African governments should also make the enforcement of existing anti-corruption laws a priority, and he urged members of the media as well as organisations and actors from civil society to make proactive contributions to the fight against corruption.

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