Illicit financial flows in West Africa: launch of new joint African Development Bank and OECD report

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From: 20/02/2018
To: 20/02/2018
Illicit financial flows in West Africa: launch of new joint African Development Bank and OECD report

The official launch of a new joint report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the African Development Bank entitled Illicit Financial Flows: The Economy of Illicit Trade in West Africa will take place in the OECD Conference Centre in Paris, France, on Tuesday 20 February 2018. This report was produced in collaboration with the World Bank, NEPAD and the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA).

US$ 50 billion leave West Africa every year

Astronomical amounts disappear off the radar of the authorities and economic regulators every year, to leave Africa illegally for transfer to Europe or elsewhere in the world.

According to estimates, the West African sub-region alone, the focus of this new report, sees US$ 50 billion disappear every year. And these are financial resources that the countries involved cannot put to good use for the development of domestic investments.

This money is vital for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the African Development Bank’ High 5  priorities for Africa’s development and the African Union's Agenda 2063.

A loss to development and investment

Illicit financial flows (IFFs) are not simply a case of financial losses. As illicit or criminal activities, they might also hamper the economy, security and development of countries or regions particularly susceptible to IFFs.

These are the issues which this new report on the West African region sets out to examine.

Panel sessions, conference and renowned experts

To mark the occasion, a series of panel sessions and workshops will be held on the launch day all focused on the theme of the publication in order to further explore the scope and specifics of illicit money flows in West Africa (see the agenda). There will also be a discussion around the opportunity to create a Platform for Mutual Review and Policy Dialogue under the aegis of pan-African institutions such as the African Development Bank and OECD.  Everything will be with the goal of better tracking illicit financial flows in the sub-region and finding appropriate and effective responses to them through relevant and mutually consistent actions.

Alongside OECD Director of Development Co-operation Jorge Moreira Da Silva, Abdoulaye Coulibaly, Acting Director of the Governance Department, will represent the African Development Bank at the official launch of the report, accompanied by representatives of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), university researchers and members of civil society and the OECD, all of whom are working on IFFs in West Africa.

Under embargo, the report Illicit Financial Flows: The Economy of Illicit Trade in West Africa has been released on Tuesday, 20 February 2018.