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Illicit Financial Flows

The term IFFs describes financial resources that are illegally earned, transferred or utilized, which manifests in four different forms:

  1. Corruption constituting about 3% of the global total,
  2. Criminal proceeds generated mainly through racketeering and drug trafficking constituting about 30-35% of the global total,
  3. commercial tax evasion through mispricing, this constitute about 60-65% of the global total, and finally,
  4. Smuggling,

An estimated $50b USD leaves the African shores annually through IFFs which continue to deprive countries of the much-needed revenue to fund the delivery of free, quality, public education service. The loss of these financial resources for public use has become a matter of major concern in Africa, because it hinders the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The African Union (AU) has developed in recent years a work stream on IFFs, with limited implementation so far. GLAFAD is inspired by the sentiments of former South African president Thabo Mbeki who noted that “It is practically impossible to acquire complete information about illicit financial flows, precisely because of their illicit nature, which means that (...) everyone concerned should continue to carry out research on this matter, including making generally available all new relevant information.”

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