Africa Renewal

The Africa Renewal magazine examines the many issues that confront the people of Africa, its leaders and its international partners: sustainable development goals, economic reform, debt, education, health, women's empowerment, conflict and civil strife, democratization, investment, trade, regional integration and many other topics. It tracks policy debates. It provides expert analysis and on-the-spot reporting to show how those policies affect people on the ground. And, it highlights the views of policy-makers, non-governmental leaders and others actively involved in efforts to transform Africa and improve its prospects in the world today. The magazine also reports on and examines the many different aspects of the United Nations’ involvement in Africa, especially within the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

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Mbeki panel ramps up war against illicit financial flows

On matters pertaining to Africa’s socioeconomic and political development, former South African president Thabo Mbeki’s voice, tempered by age and experience, continues to be heard. Seven years since leaving office, Mr. Mbeki doesn’t hide his impatience with Africa’s failure to fulfill its great potential. At the moment Mr. Mbeki is leading a war against illicit financial flows (IFFs) from Africa, as the head of African Union’s 10-member High-Level Panel on IFFs. Africa is losing at least $50 billion annually to illegal transactions. Some reports suggest the continent may have lost up to $1 trillion in the past 50 years. Global Financial Integrity, a Washington, D.C based nonprofit research and advisory organization heavily involved in the IFF fight, lists the main channels for IFFs as: nefarious commercial activities of multinational companies, drug trafficking and smuggling, and bribery and embezzlement. Some companies also engage in over-invoicing or underpricing trade deals, transfer pricing (avoiding taxes by setting prices in trading between their divisions), offshore banking and the use of tax havens.

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