Africa is known as the ‘paradox of plenty’. How can a continent so rich in natural resources be so poor?
Reports this year of illicit moneys from African countries stashed in a Swiss bank – indicating that corruption lies behind much of the income inequality that affects the continent – have grabbed international news headlines.
While a major global campaign to cut down on tax evasion is picking up momentum, anti-poverty advocates say the initiative overlooks the world’s poorest countries.
New analysis suggests that developing countries are losing a trillion dollars or more each year to tax evasion and corruption facilitated by lax laws in Western countries, raising pressure on global leaders to agree to broad new reforms at an international summit later this year.
Misinvoiced trade in five African countries cost their governments billions of dollars in tax revenue and facilitated at least 60.8 billion dollars in illicit financial flows from 2002 to 2011, says a new report by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a research advocacy organisation here.
A major grouping of rich countries has unveiled a new model for the automatic exchange of certain individual financial information between countries, aimed at significantly cutting down on offshore tax evasion.
Developing countries are likely losing more than a trillion dollars a year in "illicit financial flows" stemming from crime and corruption, according to new estimates. This fast-rising figure is already 10 times the total amount of foreign aid these countries are receiving.
As India grapples with rising prices and a rapidly sinking rupee, attention has turned to the country's massive parallel economy that siphons wealth away from development programmes and into the pockets of a corrupt ruling elite.
A federal judge here on Tuesday struck down a key new regulatory provision that would require large U.S.-listed extractives companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments, a rule that rights groups had long pushed as a way to cut down on corruption in developing countries.
The United States is being singled out for criticism after the Group of Eight (G8) rich countries failed to adopt a plan pushed by British Prime Minister David Cameron to require the creation of public country-level registries with detailed information on corporate ownership and activity.
Over the past three decades, Africa has functioned as a “net creditor” to the rest of the world, the result of a cumulative outflow of nearly a trillion and a half dollars from the continent.
Over the next decade and a half, a major global shift will result in the developing world controlling roughly half of the world’s capital, up from less than a third today.