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Africa loses $50bn annually to corruption—Commonwealth

With Africa losing over $50 billion a year through illicit flows, equivalent to all annual official development assistance (ODA), the time for action against corruption has never been more urgent.

The Africa Growth Initiative notes that sub-Saharan Africa received nearly $2 trillion in foreign direct investment (FDI) and ODA between 1980 and 2018, but lost more than $1 trillion to illicit financial outflows. When looking at the whole of Africa, that figure rises to $1.3 trillion – enough money that could lift the 1.4 billion people living on less than $1.25 per day out of poverty.

Organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda, the conference, over the next few days, will offer delegates the opportunity to discuss the impacts of corruption on sustainable development, strategies and innovative approaches for combating corruption through sharing knowledge, good practices and success stories, and address key priorities towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16.

During the conference, delegates will hear from all those dedicated to anti-corruption through a combination of country presentations, expert analysis, and networking.

Around 200 delegates including members of the Association of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa, senior government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, international experts, relevant international organisations, policymakers, and development partners are attending the conference, which has been held annually since its inception in 2011.

Speaking at the conclusion of the first day of the conference, Dr Roger Koranteng, the Secretariat’s Adviser and Head of Public Sector Governance said:

“This conference forms part of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s mission of helping member countries tackle systemic corruption by sharing best practices, training, and policy research. And to bolster inclusive and sustainable development, the Secretariat has made preventing and countering corruption a top priority.

I, therefore, call on all delegates to use this conference as a steppingstone towards the Africa We Want and redouble efforts to tackle the root causes of corruption. Only by working together, can we build an inclusive and prosperous Commonwealth Africa fit for future generations.”

At the conclusion of the conference, a communique will be issued outlining important recommendations that can be adapted by member countries in the fight against corruption. Rwanda will now take chairmanship for the upcoming year.