Thursday, June 30, 2022
HomeNIGERIAMedia stakeholders gather in Dakar against illicit financial flows from Africa

Media stakeholders gather in Dakar against illicit financial flows from Africa

As African countries continue to grapple with the depth of illicit financial flows, IFFs, and with an estimated annual loss of $88 billion, stakeholders have gathered in Dakar, Senegal to address this concern.
It is feared that if the scourge is not tackled, it could derail the continent’s bid to achieve sustainable development goals, SDGs, by the deadline of 2030.
A report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, the “Economic Development in Africa Report 2020”, notes that the amount is enough to finance almost half the annual financing gap of $200bn that the continent faces to achieve the SDGs.
The UNCTAD’s Secretary-General, Mukhisa Kituyi, stated that IFFS are, “inhibiting African development by draining foreign exchange, reducing domestic resources, stifling trade and macroeconomic stability and worsening poverty and inequality. These illicit flows rob Africa and its people of their prospects, undermining transparency and accountability and eroding trust in African institutions.”
He warned that “faced with high capital flight, tax avoidance and a marked dependence on corporate income taxes, African Governments face significant constraints to widening their tax base.”
Kituyi advised that “African governments need to work diligently alongside all key stakeholders to drive concerted actions to combat the negative impact of illicit financial flows from the continent.
“These efforts must necessarily include strengthening stolen assets recovery and setting new legislations and standards to avoid IFFs. – in concert with Africa’s private sector actors – should take the lead in strengthening stolen assets recovery, setting new standards for avoiding illicit flows and committing to more concerted actions to combat the negative impact of illicit financial flows on African economies.”
To this end, TrustAfrica is seeking to “Strengthening the capacity of African media in the fight against Illicit Financial Flows”.
The Executive Director of TrustAfrica, Dr. Ebrima Sall, in a letter said the workshop is mainly for media practitioners and bloggers drawn primarily from countries in West Africa including Nigeria, Ghana, Mauritania, Gambia and Senegal.
Sall quoting the UNCTAD’s report said that the large financing gap for the SDGs cannot be closed solely through government revenues. But that tackling IFFs will open the door to releasing much needed investments in education, health and productive sectors.
According to Sall, “the debate on IFFs from Africa remains very relevant and has to be kept in the public place.
“It is thus important that those on the forefront of informing the public have conceptual understanding of IFFs and play an important role to remain active in reporting, informing and discussing this pertinent issue.”
The TrustAfrica executive director explained that the core objective of the workshop which commences June 23, 2022 to 24, is “unpack the concept of IFFs and appraise the status of IFFs in Africa identifying; identify priority issues for policy change and advocacy,” as well as “assessing the capacity gaps in media and IFFs coverage.”
The workshop is also expected to “enhance the capacity of media practitioners in understanding the issues of IFFs and reporting on it; create a circle/network of media practitioners specializing on IFFs who could regularly report, inform and editorialize on IFFs and contribute to spurring African governments to increase their efforts to stop IFFs.”

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