Experts to review study on Global Governance Architecture for Combatting Illicit Financial Flows

The Macroeconomic Policy Division of ECA will host an Ad-hoc Expert Group Meeting (AEGM) on Thursday 28th September 2017 to review a draft study on “Global Governance Architecture for Combatting Illicit Financial Flows”. The meeting will be attended by experts from governments, research and academic institutions, think tanks from within and outside Africa, as well as staff from ECA and other UN entities.        

The problem of illicit financial flows (IFFs) remains one of the most daunting development challenges facing the continent, considering especially, its stifling effects on efforts to mobilize domestic resources. The Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa (2015) estimates that the continent lost over 50 billion USD annually as a result of illicit financial flows over the last decade. IFFs therefore raise serious concerns for financing development in Africa; they undermine governance and divert resources for social development. Notably, the Report recommended that the negative impacts of IFFs should be addressed through a combination of regional and global collaborative efforts, as well as improved institutional landscape and uptake of decisions at national, regional and global levels. It also noted the complexity of issues involved and the financial costs of compliance which could pose some problems for African countries.

It is against this background that the ECA prepared this Study which builds on previous work but more specifically as a follow-up to the recommendations of the High Level Panel. The overarching objective of the study is to take stock of the interaction between the current domestic, regional, and global frameworks or architecture for curtailing IFFs. This multi-level approach will enable the identification of gaps and weaknesses, as well as strengths and opportunities within the current global governance architecture. The Study uses six country case studies, to assess the challenges that African countries face regarding illicit financial flows but also to test the efficacy of global initiatives.

The purpose of the AEGM is to review, discuss and provide feedback and inputs, which will validate and enrich the content and structure of the final Study. Experts will also contribute to on-going dialogue on the adequacy of international instruments and initiatives that aim to tackle IFFs, focusing on their efficacy and relevance to Africa and make proposals for strengthening and clearly articulating African interests in framing global rules for curtailing IFFs.

The final Study is expected to be launched in late 2017 - early 2018.