Kampala Geopolitics Conference

Who is Stealing Africa’s Wealth: Investment, trade and exploitation on the continent

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Poverty and Africa: Those are terms that seem to correlate in the minds of many. But Africa holds 30% of the world’s known mineral reserves. With oil, gold, diamonds and rare minerals, Africa is blessed with abundant resources. So what has left the continent stripped of the benefits of its unique selling points? Some point to the West: many multinational companies can be traced back to colonial roots, thus being accused of continuing an exploitative history. Some of these also engage is trade mispricing or transfer pricing. Others point to the continent itself: offshore banking has opened up new avenues for secretive deals, corruption and illicit financial flows. But it is not just the unethical practices that strip Africa of its wealth. Governments, as well, have contributed their share by introducing loose and overly generous tax incentives that benefit foreign importers but not the local exporters. Moreover, wealth is often concentrated in the hands of a small elite benefiting from exploitation and corruption. In such an imbroglio of interests and stakeholders, who can point out the biggest thieves with certainty? What is undermining the translation of Africa’s wealth into inclusive economic development and prosperity for all?

Meet the Panelists