by Thomas Nsama
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki on June 18,2013 paid a courtesy call on President Michael Sata at State House.
And Mbeki is in the country to chair a two-day high level meeting on illicit financial flows.
The high level panel on illicit financial flows in Africa, which was established by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union (AU), was inaugurated in February 2012 to address the debilitating problem of illicit financial outflows from Africa which is estimated at US$50 billion a year.
The Illicit financial flows are a global problem. Their impact on the continent is monumental thereby representing a significant threat to Africa’s governance and economic development and governance. Current evidence shows that Africa lost over US$ 854 billion in illicit financial flows between 1970 and 2008 corresponding to a yearly average of about US$22 billion.
The trend has been increasing over time and especially in the last decade, with an annual average illicit financial flow of US$ 50 billion between 2000 and 2008 against a yearly average of only US$ 9
billion for the period 1970-1999.
And some of the effects of illicit financial outflows are the draining of foreign exchange reserves, reduced tax collection, cancelling out of investment inflows and a worsening of poverty.
Preliminary evidence shows that taking prompt action to curtail illicit financial outflows from Africa will provide a major source of funds for development programmes in the continent in the