30 May 2014

Africa Rising - Time for a Fair Deal for Africa's People

Photo: IMF Photograph/Stephen Jaffe
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde greeted by Mozambique's Finance Minister Manuel Chang at the Maputo International Airport in Maputo.

press release

Extreme inequality is a threat to democracy, warns Oxfam International's Executive Director Winnie Byanyima, at today's closing session of the IMF - Mozambique government's Africa Rising conference.

Addressing global decision makers, Ms. Byanyima said that "when wealth shapes policy-making, the rules bend to favor the rich, democratic governance suffers and corruption proliferates."

Africa has six of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world - yet despite strong economic growth, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to six out of the 10 most unequal countries in the world.

The resource curse

Much of the continent's growth over the last decade has been driven by new discoveries of oil, natural gas and mineral reserves. However, it is estimated that Africa loses $63 billion a year to illicit flows and tax dodging. The resource drain from Africa over the last 30 years is almost equivalent to its current GDP.

"If Ethiopia could capture just ten per cent of the money it loses each year through tax exemptions it could enroll 1.4 million more children in school," added Ms. Byanyima. "Tax advantages do not bring more resources to a country; they deprive them of needed resources."

Tax reform and investment

Oxfam is calling on delegates to take action against rising and damaging economic inequality by implementing more progressive tax policies, investing in public services and jobs and committing to ending extreme poverty.

Copyright © 2014 Oxfam International. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.