Africa: Success of AfCFTA Depends On Africa’s Ability to Combat Corruption

The President of the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Okey Oramah, has anchored the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on the ability of the continent to stem the tide of corruption and illicit financial flows.

Oramah, made this point when he presented the keynote address at the virtual 2020 Africa Business Ethics Conference with the theme: “Tackling Corruption to Reduce Poverty and Unemployment in Africa: A Necessity for Building Resilience to Global Risks,” which was organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in partnership with the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).

Oramah, who was represented by the Director of Compliance, Afreximbank, Mr. Idris Diop, said: “In the continental free trade areas, Africa is arming itself with tool for future prosperity. However, the success of the AfCFTA is obviously partly dependent on the continent’s ability to combat corruption and illicit capital flow to ensure availability of resources and infrastructure.”

He added that in its 2020 report on economic development in Africa, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD) explained that stopping illicit capital flight, “will almost cut by an half the annual financing gap of $200 billion that the African continent face as it strives to attain the Sustainability Development Goals.

“It is estimated that every year 3.7 per cent of Africa’s GDP leaves the continent as illicit capital flow. Most of these illicit flows stem from the proceeds of corruption.

“Between 2000 and 2015 the total illicit capital flight from Africa amounted to $836 billion compared to Africa’s total external debts stock of $707 billion 2015.