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AU, Stakeholders to Address Illicit Financial Flows, Asset Recovery, Impunity in Extractive Industry

By Seun Adams

The African Union (AU) High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows and the Working Group on the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR), composed of the African Union, the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA), Forum Civil, the Pan-African Lawyers Union (PALU) and TrustAfrica, are holding a conference on the theme: “Addressing Illicit Financial Flows and Asset Recovery in the Extractive Industry.

The conference will be coming at the margins of the 2023 global conference of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) from 13 to 14 June 2023 in Dakar, Senegal, the first ever EITI global conference to be held in Africa, despite African countries being the majority among the EITI’s fifty-seven member states which meet every three years.

The conference is organized in line with AU decisions and instruments adopted by African Heads of State and Government.

These include the AU Special Declaration Assembly/AU/Decl.5 (XXIV) of January 2015, the Nouakchott Declaration on the African Anti-Corruption Year (June 2018) and the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR) adopted by the AU Summit in February 2020. 

The conference is expected to bring together policymakers, regulators, civil society organizations, industry stakeholders and the media to foster dialogue and collaboration in promoting accountability and transparent management of oil, gas, and mineral resources, scale up efforts with national anti-corruption agencies in raising public awareness, tracing and recovery of assets illicitly acquired from Africa, through tax avoidance and criminal activities such as tax evasion, money laundering and corruption. 

During the two-day exchanges, participants will discuss CAPAR, the need for enhanced transparency and accountability, stricter regulations and increased international cooperation in the extractive industry. In addition, they will address the impact of illicit financial flows and the common occurrence of corruption in commodities trading. The meeting aims to remind the EITI of its role in promoting accountable and transparent management of oil, gas and mineral resources and identifying effective strategies to address the challenges faced by victim nations.

Participants will also reflect on how best to engage national authorities, the judiciary and the citizenry to hold the perpetrators and accomplices accountable.

It is worth noting that CAPAR is a policy advocacy instrument aimed at assisting AU Member States to trace, identify, repatriate and subsequently effectively manage their assets, including items of cultural heritage, in a manner that respects their sovereignty and for the benefit of African peoples who are ultimately victims of illicit financial flows. 

CAPAR, now stands as the best tool for Africa’s legal and technical framework in structuring the managing of the return of Africa’s stolen assets from the foreign jurisdictions in which they may be held into the rightful source countries.

That is why it is imperative that Africa’s assets, including financial resources lost through illicit flows, be returned to finance the continent’s development agenda as underlined in the AU High Level Panel Report on Illicit Financial Flows, adopted by African Heads of State and Government in January 2015.  

For further information, please contact: Souad Aden Osman,* Executive Director, Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA)/ AU High Level Panel on IFFs | E-mail: aden-osmans@africa-union.org | Tel: +27 818000577 | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Media enquiries, please contact: 

Abdarahmane Wone, Communication Officer | TrustAfrica | E-mail: wone@trustafrica.org | Tel: +221 9538466 Dakar, Senegal

Signed: Mrs. Azuka Ogugua 

Spokesperson, ICPC

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