Workshop On Illicit Financial Flows Opens In Accra

-Dr_Yao_GrahamA Three-day workshop to discuss measures to control the illicit financial flows from Africa, is underway in Accra.

The workshop, being organised by the Third World Network Africa, an Accra-based non-profit think tank, is being attended   by participants from Cameroon, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and Germany.

Some of the topics being discussed are: ‘Africa’s resource generalisation, and outflows: Historical trends and shifts’, ‘Foreign investment and capital flows in the African economy: Evolving forms and tendencies, natural resources extraction’, ‘Capital flows and resource outflows from Africa’, ‘The state accumulation in Africa: The politics of resource outflows’, and ‘Africa’s resource generation and outflows: International dimensions’.

Opening the workshop,the Programmes Manager of TWN-Africa, Tetteh Hormeku, emphasised that illicit financial flows from Africa posed a major threat to the development of the continent.

Short of mentioning how much the continent loses annually from illicit financial flows, he said the menace continued to rob the continent of revenues needed for investment.

Mr. Hormeku intimated that in the time of a steep decline of overseas development assistance, the issue of illicit financial flows needed to be given serious attention by African governments and other key stakeholders.

He said illicit financial flow took the form of illegal transfer of money from Africa, and illegal exploitation of natural resources from the continent.

The Head of Programmes said, the workshop was to discuss the underlying factors contributing to illegal financial flow from Africa.

Mr. Hormeku disclosed that an advocacy paper would be developed to put pressure on African governments and policy makers to develop measures to combat the practice.

He said a committee would be constituted at the end of the workshop, to identify key political decisions being taken by African governments to deal with the problem.

Brings Bomba, Programmes Specialist of Trust Africa, a South African-based non-governmental organi-sation, for his part, stressed the need for the participants to identify the key issues fuelling illicit financial transfers from the various African countries.

He expressed regret that though Africa was rich in natural resources, the continent was not benefiting from her abundant resources.

Mr. Bomba called for transparency in the management of the continent’s natural resources, adding that they should be equitably distributed to benefit all the segments of society.

The Director of TWN-Africa, Dr. Yao Graham, who moderated the programme, said the numerous political conflicts in Africa were contributing to illicit financial flows from Africa.

By Kingsley Asare & Jennifer Apprey

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