Did you know that the African continent loses a significant amount of money through capital flight, making it a net creditor to the rest of the world?.
Not long ago, I was reading a book by Professor Léonce Ndikumana, a co-editor of “On the Trail of Capital Flight from Africa: The Takers and the Enablers”, where I got to learn that over the past five decades, Africa has lost more than 2 trillion USD through capital flight.
Reports from the world bank show that sub-Saharan Africa owes more money in the long term and short term than it can afford to pay back. The book also states that capital flight is an outcome of the normalized transnational public-private plundering of African resources, which the authors go on to explain using examples of Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, and South Africa.
Capital flight from Africa is fueled by a global network of “enablers”, and these include bankers, accountants, lawyers, and African politicians, where money is channeled, ending up in offshore secrecy jurisdictions, such as the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and many others.
The feasible solution lies within commitments from both African governments and destination countries to address financial secrecy and the role of the enablers with a strategic partnership plan as laid out in my recent blog “Addressing Capital Flight from Africa is a Global Task” to the FACT Coalition that works toward a fair tax system that addresses the challenges of a global economy and promotes policies to combat the harmful impacts of corrupt financial practices.
Fast forward and over the horizon in the U.S., this week on June 22, the FACT Coalition is launching Oliver Bullough’s book – “Butler to the world: How Britain helps the World’s Worst people Launder Money, Commit Crimes, and Get Away with Anything”.
The book launch will have a curated panel of legislators from the U.S. and U.K. discussing the problems caused by dirty money in both countries and how to promote transatlantic competition to address the issue of dirty money in both jurisdictions. This is an informative session that is open to the public and you can register here to attend. I should also add that I have read this book too. It is an excellent read, drawing you into the inside world of money laundering in the U.K. and how it came about.