Global Financial Integrity

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Illicit Financial Flows from Africa: Hidden Resource for Development

Africa lost $854 billion in illicit financial outflows from 1970 through 2008, according to this new report from Global Financial Integrity (GFI). Illicit Financial Flows from Africa: Hidden Resource for Development debuts new estimates for volume and patterns of illicit financial outflows from Africa, building upon GFI’s ground-breaking 2008 report, Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2002-2006, which estimated that developing countries were losing as much as $1 trillion every year in illicit outflows. The new Africa illicit flows report is expected to feature prominently at the 3rd Annual Conference of African finance ministers in Malawi, which is currently underway.

“The amount of money that has been drained out of Africa-hundreds of billions decade after decade-is far in excess of the official development assistance going into African countries,” said GFI director Raymond Baker. “Staunching this devastating outflow of much-needed capital is essential to achieving economic development and poverty alleviation goals in these countries.”

Since publication, GFI has revised its methodology substantially, and performed additional research on illicit financial flows in Africa. GFI recommends citing the following reports over this one: Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries 2002-2011, Illicit Financial Flows and the Problem of Net Resource Transfers from Africa 1980-2009, and Hiding in Plain Sight: Trade Misinvoicing and the Problem of Revenue Loss in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda: 2002-2011.