The African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (Afrodad), which lobbies and advocates for debt cancellation and addresses other debt related issues in Africa, has held a workshop entitled ‘Raising the voice against Illicit Financial Flows, Corruption, Debt and Inequality in Africa: Tackling Existing and New Challenges’ in Mangochi, Malawi.

The aim of the workshop was to contribute to the development and implementation of transparent, accountable and efficient mechanisms for the mobilisation and utilisation of financial resources in Africa.

Parliamentarian training

The workshop, which incorporated training for parliamentarians, civil society and the media, was organised by Afrodad as a way of engaging with a core group of influencers and decision-makers to build their understanding of and commitment to a range of key issues.

These included illicit financial flows (IFFs), corruption, inequality, natural resource governance, debt management and the aid system in Africa.

African self-reliance

Afrodad says it supports and promotes initiatives of the African Union, in particular its Agenda 2030, which recommends that countries strengthen domestic resource mobilisation (DRM) so that Africa becomes self-reliant and finances its own development.

The aim of DRM is that it should be contributing 75-90 per cent of countries’ revenue and should be implemented by a combination of enhanced fiscal resource mobilisation, maximisation of natural resource rents and curbing IFFs.

Resource governance

Afrodad’s position is that Africa is endowed with a vast array of natural resources that, if properly governed, present the continent with a massive potential for harnessing much-needed financial resources for development.

But countries need to stop corruption to harness those resources, which necessitates curbing IFFs that have the potential to halt Africa’s socio-economic development Afrodad warns.

The African Development Bank estimates that US$1 trillion has been lost from Africa because of corporate tax evasion while the high level panel report on IFFs chaired by former South African President Thabo Mbeki estimates that US$50 billion per year is lost from Africa through trade misinvoicing.