The Secretary-general of the Commonwealth Patricia Scotland, QC, has identified as worrisome the persisting surge of corruption and other illicit financial flows across developing countries specifically Africa.
Speaking at the virtual Commonwealth Regional Conference for Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa, Scotland raised concerns that corruption leading to illicit financial flows has costs developing countries $1.26 trillion per year.
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“It is estimated that Africa has loses in excess of $50 billion a year to illicit flows, a cumulative lost of more than $1 trillion over the past 50 years which is equivalent to all the official development assistance it received”.
She lamented that the losses caused by corruption and illicit flows contribute significantly to the constriction of economic growth, as they result in fewer available resources for local economic and social investments.
According to her, the flows, illicitly acquired and channelled out of the continent, continue to pose a development challenge to the region, as they remove domestic resources which are crucial for the continent’s development.
“These flows also exacerbate risk and uncertainty, thus disincentivising private investment and widening wealth gaps between elites and those living in poverty,” she added.