Investigating corruption and illicit financial flows in Africa is the theme of Tax Justice Network Africa’s (TJNA) 4th Africa Media Training that kicked off today with editors from over 20 countries.
NAIROBI, 28 May 2018– Against a context dominated by corruption scandals like the embezzlement of KES 9 billion at the Kenyan National Youth Service, the Democratic Republic of Congo Banana Deep water port project bribery charges or the recently released West African Leaks, opens today TJNA’s 4th media training, seeking to fill gaps between investigative stories on corruption and illicit financial flows (IFFs) and concrete policy actions in Africa.
The scope of corruption and IFFs in Africa and the response to the corruption and IFFs’ scourge in Africa were the two first aspects of the training that participants were taken through by Jared Maranga, Policy Lead on Tax and investments Programme at TJNA. From the discussions corruption emerged as deep rooted in most African economies. Approximately USD. 50 billion are lost each year in Africa through IFFs as stated in the Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa (HLP). The figure is estimated to have increased to USD. 100 billion according to UNECA of which, corruption contributes to 5%. Among challenges of the fight against corruption and IFFS, Mr. Maranga indicated a lack of commitment, limited exchange of information among the national agencies and a lack of asset recovery mechanisms despite institutions like African Union Board on Corruption.
“Track it, Stop it, Get it: Who does what where how?” is the session in which means and stakeholders of the fight against corruption and IFFS were discussed. “We need to rethink the geography of corruption because according to the Tax Justice Network’s Financial Secrecy Index, ill-gotten gains from countries of the South are hidden in some of the very countries perceived as “very clean” in the North when it comes to corruption,’’ said Alvin Mosioma, TJNA’s Executive Director and facilitator of the session. Tracking corruption implies implementing for instance public registry of beneficial ownership, country by country reporting and automatic exchange of tax information. However, stopping IFFs requires mapping of IFFs drivers and enablers.
These sessions constitute the basis of the technical part of the training to come on subsequent days: how to investigate persons found in the offshore leaks database on the one hand and tools to collect, control and secure the investigation. The 4th Africa Media Training Programme (AMTP) opened today and will run up to 30 May 2018.
The AMTP is one of the flagship programmes of TJNA. This annual training, which was started in 2015, brings together editors and journalists across Africa. The AMTP is aimed at bridging the gap between the civil society and media and provide the latter with a grasp on the scale of issues related to illicit financial flows (IFFs), taxation and domestic resource mobilisation which are key towards financing Africa’s development agenda by reducing its dependence on external sources.