Illicit capital outflows impede development: Alweendo

22 Nov 2017 09:00am
WINDHOEK, 22 NOV (NAMPA) – Minister of Economic Planning, Tom Alweendo said the economic development of Africa has been impeded by illicit flow of funds from the continent.
Alweendo noted that Africa is estimated to be losing more than U.S.dollars 50 billion annually through illicit capital outflows, which he said equates to about 2% of the continent’s total GDP in nominal terms.
The minister, who is also the Director General of the National Planning Commission (NPC), made the remarks in Washington, D.C. on Friday during a ministerial meeting on trade, security and governance in Africa.
The two day event, according to a media statement issued by Alweendo’s office on Tuesday, was hosted by U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson last week Thursday and Friday.
Alweendo noted that the illicit flow of funds from the continent hampers service delivery, diverts resources away from building much needed infrastructure and schools as well as the training of teachers and law enforcement officers.
“It is here where we need the assistance of the United States of America to help us stem this outflow,” he emphasised.
The minister also noted that for Africa’s industrialisation to be realised, the continent needs to trade in the international markets.
He said as of 2015, Africa’s share of global trade was less than 3%.
“We thus also need to look at how the current international trading system is arranged. Our experience shows that the system is tilted in favour of the developed economies,” Alweendo said.
He said there is therefore a need for Africa’s developed trading partners to show willingness to re-look at how best to level the playing field when it comes to international trade.
In his remarks, Tillerson said the refocus on trade was geared towards helping unlock the tremendous potential of Africa, which he noted is expected to become the world’s most populous continent in coming decades.
“Africa is a growing market with vast potential. Five of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies are in Africa and consumer spending there is projected to exceed U.S.dollars 2 trillion by the year 2025,” he said.
The ministerial meeting was attended by foreign ministers from 36 African countries, and was aimed at enhancing trade relations and investment activities between the United States and African countries.