Nick Shaxson ■ Stop the bleeding: new African tax justice campaign
Via the Global Alliance for Tax Justice:
Last week the Interim Working Group of the African IFF Campaign Platform launched the “Stop the Bleeding” campaign in Uhuru park, a place historically associated with the struggle for freedom in Nairobi, Kenya.
A group of 6 pan-African organisations have organised the campaign: the Tax Justice Network-Africa, Third World Network-Africa, Africa Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD), the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) and Trust Africa, supported and joined by the Global Alliance for Tax Justice. This campaign on IFFs, led and driven by African civil society organisations, denounces that Africa loses massive ?nancial resources, about US$50 billion each year through illicit activities of multinational companies and rich individuals. These resources, if retained in the continent, could be invested in productive sectors of these economies to lift Africa’s growing population from under-development and poverty.
According to the African Union/Economic Commission for Africa High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa report, the continent lost about one trillion dollars (US$1 trillion) between 1980 and 2008. Other estimates are even higher.
The multiplier e?ects of these losses are much larger. They mean loss of jobs, income, decent education, health facilities and other basic infrastructure critical to structurally transform the economy of countries in Africa and the socio-economic conditions of Africans.
According to the High Level Panel’s report the major perpetrators of IFFs from Africa are multinational companies, especially those operating in Africa’s extractive sector, mostly in oil, gas and mining. These activities pose a major threat to sustainable development and security across the continent.
The campaign is demanding that governments in Africa take action to:
– Put an end to tax holidays for big business and unfair tax incentives
– Make sure foreign companies pay better wages
– Improve public services such as education, healthcare, housing and water
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