An estimated $50 billion is illicitly moved out of Africa to developed nations each year, a panel chaired by former South African President Thabo Mbeki has said.
The UN-mandated High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa meeting in Nairobi Wednesday, challenged African countries to find ways of stopping illegal transfers.
“This problem is very serious. We are engaging with governments across the continent to come up with ways to stop it,” Mr Mbeki told a press conference.
Mr Mbeki said multinational corporations were the top culprits as they had the financial muscle to take part in the prohibited business.
“Multinational corporations are the only ones that can move $15 billion, not those with $5,” he said, praising African governments for demonstrating political will to tackle the issue blamed for the region’s slower pace of development.
Money laundering and tax evasion are some of the key ways money is moved out, studies show
Mr Mbeki also blamed “corrupt practices in the public and private sectors”.
African finance ministers formed the panel and tasked Mr Mbeki with finding the sources of the money and how it was channelled to recipient countries.
The team’s next meeting will be in Tunis as it traverses the continent.