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Bank Group Policy on the Prevention of Illicit Financial Flows


Africa has lost an estimated one trillion US dollars over the past 50 years through illicit financial flowsa sum roughly equal to all of the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) received by the continent over the same timeframe.1 Illicit Financial Flows are of major concern, due to the scale and negative impact on Africa’s development and governance agenda. Illicit financial flows in (their) developmental consequences, amongst others, stifle Africa’s socio-economic progress through draining scarce foreign exchange resources, reducing government tax revenues, deepening corruption, aggravating foreign debt problems and increasing Africa’s economic dependency, with ultimately negative impact on the quality of life of Africans. When world leaders met in New York for the Post-2015 Summit at the end of September 2015, one of the major concerns was how to leverage existing and additional resources to finance the new ambitious goals articulated by the SDGs, beyond traditional approaches. Assisting governments of African countries to mobilize resource internally through combatting illicit financial flows is critical.

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