ZAMBIA could save about US$700 million in two years if it can stop illicit financial flows, especially in the mining industry.
According to a report by Global Financial Integrity, it says that overall, about US$8.8 billion was illegally siphoned from the country over a period of 10 years, largely ending up in offshore banks and tax havens.
The report says most of the lost money was traced to copper mining and trade mis-pricing.
Tax Justice Network-Africa policy and advocacy manager Saviour Mwambwa said illicit financial outflow undermines the development of any country.
Zambia can reduce dependence on donors if the revenue is managed.
“But really, there is no need for Government to borrow the kind of money they are borrowing from the international capital markets.
“In a space of two years [Zambia] can raise about US$700 million, which is equal to the amount raised in the first eurobond [US$750 million],” Mr Mwambwa said in an interview in Chilanga recently.
In 2012, Government raised a US$750 million international bond in the country’s inaugural debt and raised another US$1 billion this year through the international capital markets, raising fears of Zambia falling into another heavily-indebted poor country initiative.
Zambia Daily Mail