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  • on 03.04.2014
  • at 03:00 PM
  • by Kevin Hind

Illicit Financial Flows: The Elephant in the Room at the EU-Africa Summit 0

$35 million mansion in California, artwork totaling €18 million ($25 million), and a $33 million dollar private jet. These sound like items purchased by the world’s wealthiest oligarchs,Hollywood actors or investment bank CEOs, right?

Well, they were actually acquired by Teodorin Obiang, the son of Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang. When Teodoro convenes with other leaders for this week’s EU-Africa summit, a wide range of topics will be covered, but there’s one issue in particular that should be given a loudspeaker during the talks in Brussels: illicit financial flows.

Africa and Europe have a unique financial relationship. It is one marked by illicit capital flowing out of African countries and into bank accounts in financial centres across the EU. While the younger Obiang’s official salary is less than $7,000 per month, he managed to spend more than$315 million between 2004 and 2011 on sports cars, beachfront mansions, lavish apartments, and even some Michael Jackson memorabilia. And Teodorin is just the tip of the iceberg.

In 2011 alone, it is estimated that €43.7 billion ($60 billion) left Africa by way of illicit financial flows; this money should have been invested in infrastructure, education and healthcare, all of which are areas highlighted by the EU-Africa Summit. Just to put that number into perspective, African countries received a combined €34.3 billion ($47 billion) in developmental aid the same year, according to statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).

continue reading on Think Africa Press

By Christian FreymeyerThink Africa Press 

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