In alliance with other women’s rights and civil society organizations from across Africa and globally, the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) is urging African Heads of State to prioritize efforts to curb Illicit Financial Flows (IFFS) which takes away the much needed resources to invest in crucial public services such as education, health, social protection and in advancing gender equality and women’s human rights across board. Africa is suffering different types of Illicit Financial Flows including commercial activities,  lack of resources, tax evasion, tax avoidance, criminal activities,  human trafficking, forced labor and  corruption

FEMNET is also calling upon African governments to amplify the call for sustainable International tax reforms that will audaciously tackle the challenge of Illicit Financial flows while ensuring women of Africa are shielded and protected from gender discrimination and  exploitation.

Tax abuse is one of the biggest forms of illicit financial flows from Africa. “ When African Countries lose so much resources through Illicit Financial Flows it means Governments are unable to address inequality, prevent discrimination and thus fulfill their human rights obligations to tackle inequality and prevent discrimination in the generation and use of resources” says Dinah Musindarwezo the Executive Director of FEMNET.

This week, (18th & 19th August, 2016) FEMNET in partnership with Trust Africa is convening Women’s Rights Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, Development Partners and Academia from across the Continent to discuss IFFS and their gendered impact and implications, and amplify the voice for actions on stopping the Illicit Financial Flows.

FEMNET is concerned that there exists no elaborate analysis of gender implications of Illicit Financial Flows from Africa and thus the need to mobilize collaborations around the vice with the strategic focus to protect millions of women and girls in Africa within the formal and informal economic sectors who bear the brunt of these resource outflows.

It is important to create a robust women’s movement that understands and engages collectively with ongoing campaigns on curbing illicit financial flows such as “Stop the Bleeding campaign” that FEMNET is part of.

Memory Kachambwa, FEMNET’s head of programs is categorical that African governments spearheaded by the African Unions Agenda 2063 and the union’s deliberate prioritization of seeking to curb illicit financial flows is a positive indication that the continent is on the track to bridge the gaps of inequality by entrenching domestic resource mobilization and  economic justice.

“ It is estimated that for each 1$ developing nations received in foreign aid  and for every 10 $ in illicit money flow abroad, an astronomical amount can be saved to resource domestic needs and ensure investment in social service provision for Africa’s populations like education, job creation,  infrastructure and healthcare.   This can in-turn save the lives of millions threatened by infant and maternal mortality” Memory points out.

“We want to strategically discuss with other organizations on how to effectively address this problem, infuse innovative and politically feasible solutions and initiate processes where these recommendations will firmly be instilled within regional and global processes on curbing Illicit Financial Flows” She said.

According to the global Track it, Stop it, Grab it 2015 report on Taxation, Sab Saharan Africa is mostly affected by Illicit Financial Flows loosing 5.5% annually of its GDP. The report estimates that Africa loses 50-60 Billion U.S Dollars annually through IFFs, tax malpractices accounting for most of it, thus global efforts are urgently needed to curb IFFs.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact: FEMNET’s Head of Communication, Mildred Ngesa / +254 727 137 853 / communication@femnet.or.ke  /ngesamildred@gmail.com

Advocacy Associate, Catherine Nyambura, / +254720519689/ prog-associate@femnet.or.ke

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