Mmegi Blogs :: African Parliaments cannot curb illicit financial lows
Banners
Banners
Banners
Banners
Last Updated
Monday 13 August 2018, 14:59 pm.
Banners
African Parliaments cannot curb illicit financial lows

Five Members of Botswana Parliament and senior staff members from the office of the Auditor General are in Nairobi Kenya to attend the Second African Organisation of Public Accounts Committees Conference. The event is held from the August 29 to the September 2 under the theme “Curbing Illicit Financial Flows”.
By Dithapelo Keorapetse Fri 02 Sep 2016, 14:55 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: African Parliaments cannot curb illicit financial lows








The conference was officially opened by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyata and had as one of its resource persons the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. It is attended by a number of MPs who are members of PACs and similar committees.

AFROPAC is a new organisation that seeks to bring together MPs from the continent to share ideas and experiences on the role of Parliaments in financial oversight or ensuring transparency and accountability and other good governance precepts. It should be recalled that at least four regions in Africa, including Southern Africa with its Southern African Organisation of PACs (SADCOPAC) have such bodies at regional levels. Members are still grappling with AFROPAC desirable structure, constitution and functions. The idea of the conference is to in part deal with the aforementioned i.e. adopt the constitution and elect office bearers. The other thing is to make sure that AFROPAC complements regional bodies. The idea of AFROPAC and other regional bodies such as SADCOPAC is greater political regional integration. However, the lack of implementation and enforcement mechanisms, especially that African countries  are seldom ready to forfeit a certain degree of their sovereignty for the greater good, has rendered these bodies useless talk shows. There is lack of political will to adopt best standards of transparency and accountability despite please by such bodies. They adopt good standards which a rarely implemented and listened to by African leaders.

The conference discussed illicit financial flows from Africa. This is about illegally acquired wealth or money that flows across borders.  Africa loses about US$ 50 billion per year in illicit financial flows in fraudulent processes of tax avoidance and evasion by corporations. Other chicanery includes trade mispricing, payments between parent companies and their subsidiaries or even pseudo subsidiaries and profit-shifting mechanisms designed to hide revenues. These are all common practices by unscrupulous corporations seeking to syphon money outside. Criminal syndicates in drugs and other heinous crimes such as human trafficking, poaching and theft of governments’ and peoples’ natural resources and assets also exacerbate illegal outflows of wealth.

The conference recognised that averting these colossal losses need urgent and coordinated response, calling for renewed political interest in fighting corruption, economic crime, mismanagement and unethical governance, increased transparency in extractive sector transactions and a crackdown on banks and financial institutions that aid fraudulent transfers.

What then should be the role of African Parliaments in curbing illicit financial flows? Are these Parliaments playing this role? What are their challenges?

Illicit wealth outflows are essentially about elite crime, corruption and economic crime at a grand scale. It seldom involves small people. It is committed by bureaucratic, business and political elites and big criminals in a clandestine cob web of fraudulent cross

Banners

border transactions. African and non-African governments and the private sector – including big oil corporations, mining, banking, legal and accountancy firms – have been involved in bad schemes orchestrated  to launder money and evading or avoid paying corporate and other taxes.

Therefore, what can be the role of African parliaments? Parliaments should legislate to criminalise illicit financial flows and create good institutions to prevent and deal with the problem. Parliaments should create strong and independent oversight institutions which are credible and empowered. Because illicit flows are about elite corruption such as political corruption in the form of state capture and kleptocracy, there’s a need for strong parliamentary oversight of the executive and scrutiny on the public purse.

African parliaments are weak and less independent. They’ve been reduced to rubber stamps of executive and ruling parties’ decisions. African assemblies are not transformative in any way, they seldom amend or reject anything from their executives or ruling parties. Parliamentary committees such as finance and estimates,  PACs and other similar committees are dominated by ruling parties and are useless in their oversight roles. Parliament business is essentially about getting the executive desires to be approved. Government business dominates parliament agenda. Bills and policies pass through parliaments rather than being passed by them.

Africa has strong men instead of strong institutions. Presidents who can dissolve and prorogue parliaments at any time for any reasons and leaders Who appoints ministers, heads of oversight institutions and pack the judicatures are found mostly in Africa. Opposition parties and leaders are treated as vile characters, criminals whose demand for more democratic space is equated to treason. Critical assessment of the state of Africa is seen as Afro-pessimism. Civil society, women and youth and the media and suppressed. Elections are stolen. The masses of the people are impoverished by plundering and diversion of resources meant for development. Poverty, unemployment, wealth and income inequalities and lack of access to essential services are prominent features of African political economic systems. Conflict have engulfed the continent.

It is inconceivable therefore that African parliaments can really curb illicit financial flows. They’re disempowered, weak and not independent. African Presidents and their cronies are looting and complicit in illicit financial flows and it is hard to do anything. Critical and fair assessment of Africa and fair criticism of its leaders should be seen as Afro-optimism; that Africa can and must be better. If constitutions are respected and obsolete ones are re-written by the people, if there are free, fair and credible elections, if there are transformative legislatures which are strong in internal structures and provide effective oversight of their executives, Africa can go far, it can be democratic and prosperous.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Banners
Banners
Banners


Views From The House
Fri 02 Sep 2016, 14:55 pm
Fri 26 Aug 2016, 14:57 pm
Fri 19 Aug 2016, 15:14 pm
Fri 12 Aug 2016, 17:31 pm
Fri 05 Aug 2016, 12:21 pm
Fri 29 Jul 2016, 12:52 pm
Fri 22 Jul 2016, 12:58 pm
Fri 15 Jul 2016, 11:32 am
Fri 08 Jul 2016, 15:26 pm
Thu 30 Jun 2016, 12:25 pm
Fri 24 Jun 2016, 17:59 pm
Fri 17 Jun 2016, 14:21 pm
Fri 10 Jun 2016, 12:44 pm
Fri 03 Jun 2016, 15:08 pm
Fri 27 May 2016, 10:07 am
Fri 20 May 2016, 14:43 pm
Fri 13 May 2016, 17:17 pm
Fri 06 May 2016, 12:26 pm
Fri 22 Apr 2016, 10:11 am
Fri 08 Apr 2016, 14:54 pm
Thu 24 Mar 2016, 11:25 am
Fri 18 Mar 2016, 14:07 pm
Fri 11 Mar 2016, 13:31 pm
Fri 04 Mar 2016, 12:26 pm
Fri 26 Feb 2016, 16:38 pm
Banners
Banners
Exchange Rates
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Wednesday, 17 Jan 2018
FOREIGN / PULA
PULA / FOREIGN
1 USD = Pula   9.7656
1 GBP = Pula   13.4590
1 EUR = Pula   11.9617
1 YEN = Pula   0.0882
1 ZAR = Pula   0.7938
1 Pula = USD   0.1024
1 Pula = GBP   0.0743
1 Pula = EUR   0.0836
1 Pula = YEN   11.34
1 Pula = ZAR   1.2597
Subscribe to our Newsletter
have a story? Send us a Tip
Banners
  • Previous
    The Meg
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Friday 10 Aug - Thursday 16 Aug :::
    The Meg
    Christopher Robin
    The Darkest Minds
    Hotel Artemis
    Mission: Impossible - Fallout
  • Previous
    Charming
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Friday 10 Aug - Thursday 16 Aug :::
    Charming
    The Meg
    The Darkest Minds
    Mission: Impossible - Fallout
  • Previous
    Christopher Robin
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Friday 10 Aug - Thursday 16 Aug :::
    Christopher Robin
    Skyscraper
    The Meg
    Charming
    The Darkest Minds
Selefu
Launch of Kgoboko Trust
Banners
Banners
istanbul escort