By Samsideen Ceesay
Africans Rising for Peace and Justice, a pan African movement in collaboration with ACTIVISTA-The Gambia has recently concluded a one-day workshop on Illicit Financial Flow on Africa.
The event was held at a local hotel in Bijilo, and brought together participants from civil society organization and grassroots organizations.
The one day intensive training is centered on involvement of grassroots organizations in ‘stop the bleeding campaign’, vulnerability of Africa in illicit financial flows, Key obstacles in curbing IFF as well as accelerates efforts on issues surrounding African policy in terms of IFF.
In his opening remarks, the coordinator, Africans Rising, Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan said: “Africa need to re-think and strategise for their campaign in order to curb illicit financial flows in Africa. Stop the bleeding campaign is essential as it enables government to be accountable, critical and transparent to its dealings”.
He added: “Aid cannot solve Africa’s problem, we need to protect our resources. Stop the bleeding campaign is almost in most part of Africa”. He said a lot of monies have been donated to African governments but it hasn’t made any difference yet.
He pointed out that Africa has the resources to develop and progress as it the richest continent in the world.
Madi Jobarteh in his presentation on ‘stop the bleeding campaign’, said: “African government received $32.8 billion in loans in 2015 but paid $18 billion in debt interest and principal payments, with the overall level of debt rising rapidly. Sub- Saharan Africa countries (33) lost a total of $814 billion from 1970 to 2010.
“Between 2003 to 2012 illicit financial flows amount to $525.9 billion. Official development aid stands at $348 billion and foreign direct investment is $248.1 billion”.
Buba Khan pointed out that “we need to tell our own stories by exposing those that are bleeding the Africa through illicit financial flows. Choosing the right leaders and democracy can play a key role in tackling this practice (Illicit Financial Flows)”.
Alhagie S Nyang, coordinator, ACTIVISTA-The Gambia said, in order to curb illicit financial flows in Africa and harness economic growth it is essential that ‘stop the bleeding campaign’ is instituted to address these practices in Africa. “Toady billions of dollars are leaving the shores of Africa because of Illicit financial flows,” he said.