In the economic development discourse on Africa, you will not have to wait too long until the C word is raised as a major factor for the continent’s underdevelopment. The subtext usually being that it’s the fiscally irresponsible leaders who are squandering and looting their nations at the expense of their citizens. Yes, corruption is a biproduct of bad governance and glutenous administrators. Their decisions have devastating political and economic consequences, but that is not the complete picture, nor how corruption works. Corruption in any society has a sophisticated modus operandi. If we are to stand against the inequalities, poverty, and perennial injustice caused by those entrusted with state coffers, then we must be more educated on its mechanisms and culture.
In this four-part mini-series, the Centre is thrilled to partner with the Tax Justice Network Africa and Transparency International Kenya to bring you the definitive overview of corruption in Africa. The series will teach precisely how illicit tax revenue flows out of the continent, through corporate tax abuse and which of the leading developed nations are the biggest culprits. You will learn precisely how complex tax regimes and money laundering are plundering the continent, and to what degree other forms of corruption such as bribery, nepotism, and patronage are responsible for the US$1 trillion in illicit outflow in the last 5 decades. This figure is according to the biennial corporate tax haven index published by our friends at the Tax Justice Network, which to put into perspective exceeded FDI and Africa’s receipts in overseas development assistance during the same period.
This figure can only be described as shocking, so we will conclude the series by looking at ways civil society can mobilise around accountability and demands an anti-corruption culture. What are the fiscal controls or monitoring policies should we be advocating? Which loopholes do we demand our governments close? The policy approaches are critical.
The series is also important for surveying Africa’s investment readiness for those wishing to or doing business on the continent. Doing good business in Africa is a product of a stable political and economic environment in which growth and the rights of citizens are protected under international law. The fight against corruption in Africa is on all levels, for all people vested in African liberation.
Corporate tax breaks and the fiscal loopholes used to plunder Africa.
Petit corruption and money sent from the diaspora?
Lecture 4: Leadership & accountability.