By Asmau Ahmad
The African Union (AU) said combating illicit financial outflows from the continent will accelerate efforts to achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development.
Patrick Ndzana Olomo, the acting head of the Department of Economic Affairs of the AU Commission, said this during the 2023 African Parliamentary Network on Illicit Financial Flows and Taxation Conference in Nairobi, Kenyan capital.
Olomo said that illicit financial outflows through theft or tax evasion reduce the ability of Africa to raise its own resources in order to achieve its development goals.
“Part of the reason for Africa’s financing deficits is the pervasive issue of illicit financial flows to jurisdictions outside the continent,” he said.
The two-day meeting brought together more than 100 parliamentarians from over 40 African countries to discuss policy trends and challenges in tackling illicit financial flows.
Olomo revealed that Africa currently faced an estimated financing gap of over 200 billion U.S. dollars annually.
He noted that the lack of sufficient resources is exacerbated due to increased challenges in accessing not only private finance but also overseas development assistance, hence the need to improve domestic resource mobilisation efforts.