The level of financial losses that Africa continues to experience due to illegal activities and dealings in the mining sector is undermining sustainable development in the continent, Trust Africa Programmes Director Briggs Bomba has said.
By Kizito Sikuka
Speaking at the inaugural Africa Forum on Mining held in Accra, Ghana, Bomba said African resources are being siphoned out to benefit other economies while the continent remained impoverished.
“Our resources are being unjustly taken away from us to develop and improve other economies outside Africa,” Bomba said.
He said these illicit financial flows (IFFs) deprive Africa of vital tax revenues that could be spent on social services such as healthcare, education and basic infrastructure development including road and rail.
Bomba urged African stakeholders to work together in addressing the scourge of IFFs, and ensure that African mineral resources are used to develop economies of African countries.
“We need a multi-stakeholder approach to addressing IFFs out of Africa,” he said, adding that such a collective methodology between the state and non-state actors on IFFs has the capacity to yield positive results.
A recent study commissioned by the African Union (AU) estimates that the continent has lost more than US$1.8 trillion to illicit activities between 1970 and 2008 alone, and continues to lose resources valued at up to US$150 billion annually through illicit capital flight, mainly through tax evasion, corruption, mispricing of goods and services by multi-national companies.
The inaugural Africa Forum on Mining, which is running under the theme “Africa Mining Vision at 10: looking back, moving forward” aims to take stock on how the continent could fully utilize its mineral resources to finance its development agenda.
The meeting is organized by the African Union Commission in collaboration with various partners such as UNECA, UNDP, AfDB and the Ghana Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.