More than a trillion dollars is said to have flowed illegally out of Africa over the past 50 years, a sum roughly equivalent to all of the official development assistance received during that same period.

And the problem is not only continuing, it's getting worse.

A new report estimates that Africa is currently losing as much as 60 billion dollars a year in what's called Illicit Financial Flows.

It's a conclusion reached by a joint panel run by the United Nations and the African Union, and led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

And given the illegal nature of such activities, the report says the real figure is likely to be significantly more.

Thabo Mbeki said the panel is convinced that "large commercial corporations are by far the biggest culprits of illicit outflows, followed by organised crime."

He added: "We are also convinced that corrupt practices in Africa are facilitating these outflows apart from and in addition to the related problem of weak governance capacity.”

So, are governments the victims of criminal activities or part of the problem?

Presenter: Kamahl Santamaria


Paul Banoba - Transparency International's senior programme coordinator for East Africa

Razia Khan - head of Africa research at Standard Chartered, working with finance ministers, African central banks, and other institutions

Henry Malumo - Africa Advocate for Action Aid International, heading up the campaign on illicit financial flows in Africa

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Source: Al Jazeera