Yesterday, May 25th, African civil society organisations celebrated the Africa Day by organizaing #AfricansRising: “calling for the adoption of more stringent measures to seal tax loopholes which facilitate illicit financial flows (IFFs)”.
IFFs were indeed part of the core concerns of this large continent-wide mobilization, and Global Alliance for Tax Justice’s regional network member Tax Justice Network-Africa (TJN-A) addressed it throughout the day.
“While the issue of IFFs has been recognised as a global challenge, TJN-A says, civil society reiterates that there is a lot that African governments can do to rein this problem. Speaking on the side-lines of the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development, Tax Justice Network Africa’s Deputy Executive Director Jason Braganza underscored these sentiments. “Illicit financial flows can’t be viewed as a developing-country problem. That said though, those countries, particularly African ones, have a big role to play in dealing with this issue,” he said. The meeting which ends today, brings together a mix of ministers, civil society, and high-level officials of various intergovernmental bodies in a follow-up to the 2015 Addis Ababa conference on Financing for Development. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third Financing for Development Conference highlighted the need to combat corruption and illicit financial flows as part of the global framework to finance development post-2015. The Agenda also indicated 2030 as the year by which IFFs should have ‘substantially reduced’ globally, with a mind to eliminate them altogether.
The 25th of May 2017 marks 54 years since African states came together to form the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now known as African Union (AU). Over the years the Union has been at the forefront of various regional development initiatives, most notably in the setting out of Africa’s development blueprint, Agenda 2063, and the High Level Panel Report on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa on which it worked with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The report which was published in 2015 has formed the basis of many regional and national level efforts aimed at creating awareness about and combatting the IFFs menace. It outlines a set of 15 recommendations that African governments should adopt to curb the illegal flow of capital from their economies”.
Numerous African civil society organizations, researchers, activists and citizens took part in Jason Braganza’s live tweet chatting on IFFs, held from the UN headquarters in New York City.
While TJN-A is celebrating its 10 years of existence, its campaign to end IFFs, titled #StopTheBleeding, is gaining momentum and outreach throughout the continent.
In Ghana, #TaxJustice champions took the opportunity of the #AfricaDay to officially launch the national campaign, with a standing room!