The New Dawn (Monrovia)

1 May 2013

Africa Loses Billions in Illicit Money Laundering

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki says Africa is losing billions each year to illicit capital outflows in development.

Addressing members of the 53rd Liberian Legislature in a joint session Tuesday in Monrovia, he said that the rate at which Africa loses development money through illegal means is alarming.

"We are losing a lot of this capital that we need as a result of everything we throw out of the continent through illegal means and there is an estimate that the continent loses annually at least fifty billion dollars through illicit capital outflow," Mbeki notes.

"Now you can compare that to something like US$25 billion that comes into the continent as a result of development assistance."

He said Africa loses double on what comes in as development assistance as a result of weak systems put in place by African governments and this has prompted finance ministers to start to take actions to curb the situation.

The former President, who is Chairman of the High Level Panel on Illicit Flows of the United Nations Commission for Africa is set to spend four days in Liberia to holding discussions with President Sirleaf and members of the Panel.

He also says African leaders should stop suppressing its citizens, stressing that any government that is engaged in such act might soon lead the country to serious chaos that could create instability.

On Monday, April 29, 2013 Mbeki met with Panel Members at the Royal Grand Hotel in the Sinkor Boulevard before meeting President Sirleaf at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill.

He said the organization was established as a result of a decision of the African Finance Ministers, who realized that the continent faces such development challenges that therefore require all necessary strategies to attend to them.

Meanwhile, Chairman Mbeki will also have a luncheon with the Heads of State of the Mano River Union (MRU) Summit before meeting with the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, the Liberia Business Association and the Liberia Bankers Association later at the Royal Grand Hotel.

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