With renewed vigour to stem illicit financial flows (IFFs) from Africa, the IFF Working Group (IWG) met, to discuss the practical implementation of the recommendations of the AU/ECA High Level Panel Report on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, also known as the ‘Mbeki Report’. The meeting deliberated on effective steps to fulfil the Special Declaration adopted by the AU Assembly in 2015, on IFFs from Africa. Specifically, these steps include strengthening the institutional and regulatory capacity of African countries to combat illicit outflows, increasing advocacy for national and continental policy changes and establishing a multifaceted but united front to address the complex nature of illicit financial flows from the continent.
Operating as the technical arm of the Consortium to Stem Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Africa, the meeting sought to finalize the development of the Project Implementation Plan for reducing illicit outflows from the continent. The implementation plan is based on the recommendations of the Panel Report and involves all seventeen African institutions in the working group. Led by the Secretariat, the group finalized all the elements of the Project Document and upon its completion, all members of the IWG committed to foster additional research to deepen the understanding of the phenomenon and strengthen national level interventions.
Speaking at the opening of the two-day meeting, Dr. Aida Opoku-Mensah, Senior Advisor to the Executive Secretary on SDGs and Special Initiatives, ECA & Co-Chair of the IWG opened the meeting and in her introductory remarks, she recalled the journey of the Consortium and IWG so far and underlined the need to structure the implementation of key activities included in the anti-IFF Project in the next year.
This third meeting is part of the biannual meetings of the IFF Working Group, organized by the African Union, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the Coalition for Dialogue, in a series of efforts by H.E. Mbeki, Chair of the AU/ECA High Level Panel (HLP) on IFFs from Africa and the African Union, to reduce IFFs from Africa. The meeting brought together among other institutions, the African Capacity Building Foundation, Tax Justice Network on Africa, Trust Africa, African Legal Support Facility, Open Society-Africa and the World Bank.
NOTE TO EDITORS.
Following the endorsement of the High Level Panel (HLP) Report on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Africa and the passing of the AU Special Declaration by the African Union Heads of States at the 24th African Union Summit in 2015, there was the obvious need to wholly implement its recommendations nationally, regionally and globally. Accordingly, a coalition of Stakeholders which became the Consortium of Stakeholders to Stem IFFs from Africa was established. Above all else, the Consortium of stakeholders works to foster coherent implementation of the recommendations of the High Level Panel and ultimately stem the growth of IFFs from Africa.
Chaired by H.E. Mr. Thabo Mbeki, the Consortium to Stem Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Africa further constituted a core group within itself to address all technicalities with regards to implementing the recommendations of the report. This led to the the IFF Working Group (IWG) in 2016.