Lovely figures these:
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki has been given the responsibility of leading a high-level team to stem the illegal outflow of about $50bn (R384bn) yearly of African resources out of the continent.
Mbeki, who was recently appointed chairperson of the UN Economic Commission on Africa (Uneca) panel, is determined to put a stop to marauding foreign companies, individuals and governments draining the continent’s resources and wealth with impunity and thereby undermining the prospects of Africa’s development.
“About $50bn is exported out of Africa illegally every year,” Mbeki has said. “Almost $25bn comes into the continent.
“That means (Africa) loses twice the capital it receives in financial assistance.”
This then becomes the proof that country by country reporting is required and that, of course, we\’re all ripping the place off.
But I\’m afraid that we\’re not comparing like with like here. For the $25 billion is the official aid, the ODA stuff. The $50 billion (however inflated or not that number might be) is what is happening in the private sector.
And if we want to talk about the private sector outflows then we\’ve got to compare that with the private sector inflows. Which, if I\’m reading this right, are in the $100 to $120 billion a year sort of range.
Comparing what the private sector takes out with what the private sector puts in might be useful: comparing what the private sector takes out with what the public sector puts in is simply nonsense.