Tax Evasion and Theft ‘Steal Africa’ of $ 89 Billion Per Year: UN Study | Africa News

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Nearly half of the total annual figure of $ 88.6 billion is attributable to the export of commodities such as gold, diamonds and platinum, according to the report.

Africa loses nearly $ 89 billion a year in illicit financial flows such as tax evasion and theft, more than it receives in development aid, according to a new UN study.The estimate, published Monday in the 248-page report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), is the UN’s most comprehensive to date for Africa. It shows an increasing trend over time and is higher than most previous estimates.

Nearly half of the total annual figure of $ 88.6 billion is attributable to the export of commodities such as gold, diamonds and platinum, the report says. For example, gold accounted for 77% of total under-invoiced exports worth $ 40 billion in 2015, he showed.

Understanding the real value of a product helps to disguise trading benefits abroad and deprives developing countries of foreign exchange and erodes their tax base, UNCTAD said.

The report calls Africa a “net creditor to the world,” echoing observations by economists that the aid-dependent continent is in fact a net exporter of capital due to these trends.

“Illicit financial flows rob Africa and its people of their prospects, undermining transparency and accountability and eroding trust in African institutions,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi.

Junior Davis, head of policy and research at UNCTAD’s Africa division, told Reuters news agency the figure was likely underestimated, citing data limitations.

The fight against illicit flows is a priority for the United Nations, whose General Assembly adopted a resolution on the subject in 2018, and the report urges African countries to draw inspiration from the report to present “renewed arguments” in international forums.



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