Sudan’s Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok, and Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, on Friday launched a new publication that proposes actions that need to be put in place to stem Illicit Financial Flows leakages before they leave Africa’s shores.
The Report notes that once the resources leave Africa, getting them back involves a complicated process requiring capacities often in short supply in African countries. Furthermore, the speed and ease of loss across national boundaries, easily breach Africa’s national financial security defense lines. This trend, states the Report, must be halted.
The Report, titled; Institutional Architecture to Address Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, was launched during a high-level roundtable convened by UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed on the theme: Extractive Industries as an Engine for Sustainable Development: The Case of Africa.
The analysis builds on efforts by the African Union the Economic Commission for Africa, academia and civil society institutions to stem the illicit outflows of $50 billion a year, a conservative estimate posited in the 2015 report of the High-Level Panel on IFFs, led by President Thabo Mbeki. The loss, notes the report, is worth three quarters of the estimated health financing gap of $66 billion a year for Africa to make significant progress on SDG 3 on good health and well-being.
“As Sudan, we welcome the report and call for collective actions to promote good governance in our extractive sector. The sector is significant and can go a long way in helping countries mobilize resources to fund sustainable development on our continent,” said Prime Minister Hamdok.
“Sudan is in a new phase of reorganizing and the extractive sector challenges are not lost on the transition government. I invite governments to consider the recommendations in this report,” he added.
For her part, Ms. Songwe said that ECA stands ready to continue working with member States to come up with policy recommendations that can help curb illicit financial flows in all their forms from the continent.
Ms. Mohammed said Africa’s extractive industries, if properly exploited, could be a means to achieve the SDGs and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the Africa we Want.
“The Continent needs to ask itself – in a post COVID-19 world, how can extractives create clean and gender responsive jobs; how can countries run a green energy transition and use extractives to propel us towards a low emission and resilient future… enable good governance and benefit local communities,” she stressed.
The online high-level round-table was convened to discuss current and emerging trends in the extractive industries sector with a focus on Africa to determine how extractive industries can be a catalyst for sustainable development in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement on climate change.
The event attracted high-level participants, including the Chairperson of the African Union, Mr. Moussa Faki, Ministers, experts from private sector, academia and think tanks and representatives and civil society organizations.
Participants discussed emerging trends in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and implications for the future of the industry; combating illicit financial flows and how to further enhance tax systems, governance and transparency in the sector; and measures needed to align extractive industries with the sustainable development goals, especially on gender and climate change.