Malawi hosts meet on illicit money
The Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) has said it is important to involve legislators in the fight against illicit financial flows because the money lost through illicit financing is denying many African countries vital resources for development.
Mejn Executive Director Dalitso Kubalasa was speaking following a two-day meeting Malawi hosted with Parliamentarians from countries across Africa to discuss ways in which the recommendations from the Mbeki report on illicit financial flows can be turned into concrete action.
The meeting drew participation of over 20 parliamentarians from cross Africa as well as members of the Economic Commission for Africa.
The forum is the second one to be held by the African Parliamentarian Network on illicit financial flows and tax. It was organised by the Tax Justice Network Africa in collaboration with the Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN).
African leaders recently made a strong declaration on the importance of curbing illicit financial flows when they endorsed a new report on the problem at the African Union Summit in January.
Kubalasa said many African countries rely on aid to achieve some level of economic growth but, the figures on illicit flows are much higher.
“There is need to do something about it, we cannot afford to look the other way,” he said.
According to Kubalasa, Speaker of the national Assembly, Richard Msowoya, addressed the opening of the meeting endorsing parliament’s commitment to fight capital flight. He said the role of parliament was critical in addressing the problem at both local and national level.
The four year research findings by African Union- Economic Commission for Africa chaired by former South African president Thabo Mbeki revealed that Malawi is losing about 16 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to multinational companies through illicit financial flows every year.
The report also estimated that Africa was losing between US $50 billion and US $150 billion each year in illicit financial flows.