The Impacts of Illicit Financial Flows on Peace and Security in Africa

Ranges of estimates of illicit financial flows confirm that the problem facing Africa is large and has grown substantially. Losses annually in recent years range as high as $100 billion. For many countries the long term average has exceeded 10% of a recorded GDP. Potential effects are dramatic too. Extrapolating from GDP losses to one major dimension of human security, it is estimated that illicit flows are responsible for major delays in regional achievement in child mortality reduction. There are four main components of Illicit financial flows (IFF). Two of these involve hidden transactions with illegal capital: the laundering of the proceeds of crime; and corruption and theft of state assets. The other two involve illicit (and often illegal) transactions, but with legally obtained capital. These are tax abuse(both corporate and individual); and hidden ownership to hide conflicts of interest and to facilitate market abuse.