The gendered impacts of illicit financial flows discourse has not been largely documented – especially from a feminist perspective. FEMNET considers this ground-breaking research in Africa to be the beginning of the much-needed advocacy and heightened consciousness on illicit financial flows led by women’s rights organizations.
In January 2015, African Heads of State and government endorsed the High Level Panel (HLP) report on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Africa. The HLP report has since emerged as the main point of reference by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders who are calling for the domestication of its findings in countries across Africa in order to curb IFFs. It is envisaged that this will strengthen African governments’
domestic resource mobilisation capacity to enable them to finance their sustainable development and structural transformation.
One of the major findings of the HLP report is that Africa is losing approximately US$50 billion annually through IFFs, mostly through abusive transfer pricing and trade mispricing and other aggressive tax planning schemes by multinational companies (MNCs) operating in Africa’s commercial sector. Most Literature on the IFFs discourse acknowledges that tax abuse by multinational corporations, wealthy individuals, criminal activities and corruption
and the entrenched network of financial secrecy and the resultant financial hemorrhage from Africa severely limit the ability of States to bring about socio-economic development.
Indeed, African governments need to seriously and swiftly move to take action to curb IFFs in their countries because they have a high potential to derail the realization of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs), Agenda 2063 and the advancement of basic human rights among other developmental goals.