By DOH JAMES SONKEY IN YAOUNDE
African countries have resolved not to remain indifferent to the illicit financial flows cankerworm that is eating up the fabric of its society and to carry out a concerted action plan and establish a follow up mechanism for the implementation of the Action plan. The commitment was taken last May 26, 2017 at the Yaoundé Hilton Hotel at the end of three days of brainstorming on how to curb the continent’s huge financial loss due to illicit financial flows.
Placed under the distinguished patronage of the President of the Republic of Cameroon, Paul Biya and chaired by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang, the first ever International Conference on Illicit Financial Flows organized by Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Supreme State Audit Office, Mbah Acha Rose in her capacity as Secretary General of the African Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI) took place under the theme “Tackling Illicit Financial Flows: an African approach to a global phenomenon.”
In a chat with the press at the occasion, Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Supreme State Audit Office, Mbah Acha Rose explained that “Illicit financial flow is really a major problem in Cameroon and the rest of Africa. By this we, refer to funds earned, transferred or used in an illegal manner. From 2003 to 2012, Africa lost about 4200 billion to illicit financial flow and Cameroon alone within this period lost more than FCFA 7 billion, Nigeria about FCFA 157 billion, South Africa, FCFA 122 billion, Egypt, FCFA 37 billion thereby indicating that Africa as a whole is affected. That is the raison d’être of this conference organized so that participants can together understand the concept of this illicit financial flows, its negative effects on social, economic and political development of every country in order to come out with a concerted plan of action in addition to a follow up plan.”
A report of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa reveals that each year, Africa looses USD 50 billion through illicit financial flows in the form of tax evasion, money laundering and other misdemeanors.
The Yaoundé International Conference that brought together experts from the African Union, the Pan-African Parliament, the European Parliament, the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Transparency International, the Financial Task Force on Money Laundering, the World Wide Fund for Nature and the New Partnership for Africa Development was organized with the collaboration of the African Tax Administration Forum, Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative and the African Organization of Public Accounts Committees.