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Tracking Africa’s stolen billions

by Lesotho Times
Published by : Lesotho Times (Mbabane) Physical details: 3p Year: 2014
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The article explains measures being put in place in an attempt to recovery ill-gotten wealth from the perpetrators, marking a milestone in the fight against African capital flight and illicit financial flows, which cost the continent between $50 and $148 billion per year. The wide spread of the estimated cost of illicit financial flows is an illustration of just how difficult it is to track and identify where money escapes, but even at its lower bound, the number is the same order of magnitude as the foreign aid that flows into the continent. The capital lost to illicit financial flows could be vitally important to development in countries that are trying to improve their mobilisation of domestic resources for investment in infrastructure and services. Slowing stopping and reversing these illegal flows requires convincing and coordinating a complex mix of international, local and private sector actors whose interests are not always aligned. The majority of illicit flows occur at the point of trade. The use of anonymous trust companies shields individuals responsible for illicit capital flows from attention or prosecution. Added to this, weak corporate governance codes have created space for transnational corporations to operate with a degree of impunity.

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