OECD Development Co-operation Working Papers

OECD Development Co-operation Working Papers cover work on understanding aid flows, strengthening aid delivery and improving development policy. Topics include, among others, aid statistics and architecture, aid effectiveness, capacity development, development co-operation systems and management, evaluation of development programmes, as well as the relationship between development and trade, conflict and fragility, environment, gender equality, governance and poverty reduction.


Illicit financial flows: The role of Al Qaeda and its affiliates in the Islamic Maghreb

Illicit financial flows (IFFs) in West Africa have long contributed to the region’s instability, partly due to their links to regional terrorist organisations such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). AQIM has directly and indirectly participated in and perpetuated illicit financial flows in the region not only through violent means but also through diverse links with the local economy and society. AQIM and its regional affiliates have a profound influence on the political economy of the Sahel and the Maghreb, as well as greater West Africa, and it is important to understand the role played by AQIM in IFFs and the means by which this drives regional instability. This case study examines the political-economic context and the nature and scope of the mechanisms through which AQIM (and its affiliates) operate, with particular emphasis given to their interaction with the local economy and any resulting IFFs.


Keywords: illicit financial flows (IFFs), West Africa, smuggling, financial exclusion, illicit trade, trafficking, development, kidnap for ransom, AQIM, terrorist financing, poverty, Mali
JEL: D73: Microeconomics / Analysis of Collective Decision-Making / Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption; K42: Law and Economics / Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior / Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law; O17: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements; Q01: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / General / Sustainable Development; O55: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economywide Country Studies / Economywide Country Studies: Africa
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