Monrovia — Delegates at the weeklong conference of Africa’s Parliaments Committees of Public Account have concluded with an adoption of a declaration that recommits Parliaments across Africa to the fight against illicit financial flow and corruption.
The declaration named, ‘the Monrovia Declaration’ strengthens their commitment to the fight for transparency and accountability in Africa, ensure that Africa is self-reliant, and minimize illicit financial flow on the continent.
Senator James Emmanuel Nuquay (PUP-Margibi County) is the immediate past chair. In an interview with reporters, he said “the conference was successful, all the objectives set up to be realized we achieved them”.
He said amid the impact of the covid crisis and the Russia-Ukraine war which are having a toll on global economy and causing inflation across the globe, it has become imperative that developing countries engage member states across the continent to adopt policies that encourage transparency and accountability in the management of meager resources.
According to Senator Nuquay, in its 2020 report on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) in Africa, (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) disclosed that US$88.6 billion from the continent go up in smoke every year. This is a staggering 3.7% of the continent’s total GDP.
This figure almost represents the total Official Development Aid, US$48 billion, and Foreign Direct Investment, US$54 billion, received by African countries per year. Just imagine, IFFs coming out of Africa, according to the same report, rose to $836 billion dollars from 2010 to 2015 while the continent’s external debt rose to $770 billion dollars in 2018.
In 2014 alone, the report outlined, Africa lost an estimated $9.6 billion to tax havens, equivalent to 2.5% of total tax revenue. The time is now for robust regional coordination to bring about sustainable reforms.”
According to him, Financing is crucial to achieving United Nations sustainable development agenda 2030 and Africa’s annual financing gap to achieve the 2030 sustainable development goals is around 200 billion dollars. According to a 2015 report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, some 50 billion dollars illicitly leave the continent every year.
“With such a large sum of money leaving the continent every year, less resources are left for sustainable development and human development. It is about time for our governments to work collaboratively to stop this wholesale bleeding. Inter-country collaboration is crucially important in the fight against this universal threat and hence the critical importance of strengthening AFROPAC”.
New leaders elected
As part of their activities, delegates at the meeting also elected a new corps of officers to steer the affairs of AFROPAC for the next two years. The new chairman takes over from Senator Nuquay who is the immediate past chairman.
Those elected are Mederd Labega Sseggona, MP of Uganda, and Chairman, and James Klutse Avedzi, PAC chairman of Ghana, and Mark Botoman, PAC chair of Malawi. Reuben Orwaru of the Pan African Federation of Accounts won the Deputy Secretary General post, while Nusa Sydney Kunene, PAC Chair of Eswatini, and Mohammed Kaba, Vice President of the PAC, secured Treasurer General and Deputy Treasurer General, respectively.