Capital flight cripples Africa

ADDIS: Africa's natural resources could dramatically improve the lives of millions - but while natural resources may have fuelled a decade of rapid economic growth on the continent, most Africans have still not seen the benefits, according to this year's Africa Progress Report presented to African leaders and policy-makers at this week's AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The 2013 Africa Progress Report says African policy makers have critical choices to make: they can either invest their natural resource revenue in people to generate jobs and opportunities for millions in present and future generations. Or they can squander this opportunity, allowing jobless growth and inequality to take root.
President Johnson-Sirleaf, whose country Liberia exports iron and diamonds, said that African leaders cannot act alone.

"Africa, like the rest of the world, is suffering tremendous losses from the illicit and unwarranted outflow of wealth through tax avoidance, shell companies, tax havens, transfer pricing and others, that in a way leads them to avoid their fair share of taxes," said Johnson-Sirleaf. "This report shows very clearly that such outflows exceed the total amount of development assistance which the African continent receives every year. This problem can only be resolved if all nations can work together, and the ball is in the court of our partners," she added, sitting on the panel with the Executive Director of the Africa Progress Panel, Caroline Kende-Robb, the head of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Carlos Lopes, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the head of Third World Network-Africa, Yao Graham.

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