On the 25th of June, 2015, Policy Forum participated in the public launch of the “Stop The Bleeding” Campaign in Nairobi aimed at curbing Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Africa. The Campaign, driven by African civil society organisations with support from international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), aims at appraising the findings and recommendations of the Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa for a strengthened Africa response and facilitating consultation among key African CSOs to strengthen independent efforts to curb IFFs at national, sub-regional and continental levels.
The launch began with CSOs convening on the 24th of June, 2015 at the Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi where presentations on problematizing IFFs in the African context made. Participants heard about the implications for the Financing for Development (FfD), took stock of CSO engagement to-date including what was working and the gaps, and experiences in engaging key constituencies like gender groups and labour movements. The CSOs agreed on a call to action which comprises of the following:
- The international community should cooperate in the recovery and repatriation of illicit financial flows out of Africa, as recommended in the Mbeki Report on Illicit Financial Flows
- The international community should support and make available resources necessary for the establishment and operation of a new intergovernmental body on international cooperation in tax matters.
African Union and Other Institutions
- African governments through the African Union must call for and push for the establishing of a new intergovernmental body on international cooperation in tax matters with responsibility for setting rules/norms.
- African governments through the African Union and its agencies should promote national and regional value chains to maximize their benefits from the current global trading and tax system
- African governments through the regional economic communities should collaborate to set common standards and minimize the effect of tax wars within the African continent
- African governments should implement the recommendations of the AU/UNECA High Level Panel Report on IFFs
- African governments should adopt a full range of progressive taxation measures as a primary means of funding national development goals and reducing inequality
- African governments should minimize tax expenditure by significantly reducing tax incentives and exemptions
- African governments should review bilateral taxation treaties with developed countries to ensure that they are getting their fair share of revenue
- African governments should assess and track the tax burden on poor men and women; and ensuring fiscal policies are gender sensitive
- African governments should building domestic production capacity, ownership and service provision in trade infrastructure development
The launch event on the 25th of June involved a series of press junkets, general public assemble at Uhuru Park for entertainment and solidarity speeches followed by a public procession. The launch was organised by an Interim Working Group (IWG) of the African IFF Campaign Platform made up of six Pan-African organisations namely Tax Justice Network-Africa (TJN-A), Third World Network-Africa (TWN-Af), 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 (GATJ).
Following this campaign launch, a side event will be held on the margins of the upcoming 3rd Financing for Development Conference (FfD3) in July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The purpose of the side event would be to introduce the Africa IFF campaign, re-emphasis the importance of taking forward the recommendations contained in the “Mbeki HLP report”, and highlight some of the joint plans that CSOs and other African institutions such as the African Union and UNECA have been undertaking to push for the implementation of the “Mbeki HLP report”. The side event will target African delegations, CSOs, African institutions and agencies present at the FfD3 conference. The side event will feature a panel session comprised of representatives from the African Union Commission, Africa Group delegation, UNECA and civil society.