Adapting a Business Elite to Global Regimes of Financial Control: Analysis of Illicit Financial Flows from Africa


Leonid Fituni


The article analyzes the problems associated with the illicit financial outflow from Africa and provides a critical analysis as well as the author’s own estimates of the amounts of funds illegally funneled from African countries to foreign jurisdictions. The paper points out significant discrepancies in quantitative estimates of the volume of illegal financial flows from different countries between the estimates UNECA, that of a number of NGOs specializing in this subject matter and the author’s own calculations based on the Direction of Trade Statistics database of the International Monetary Fund and completed according to the methodology and formulas used by The High Level Panel (HLP) on illicit financial flows of the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

The article systematizes and categorizes the fundamental causes, driving forces and motives that lead to the illicit outflows of capital from African countries and investigates common mechanisms and schemes of unlawful transborder transfers of funds. The publication exposes a key role of African business elites and corrupt officials in the steadily growing illegal export of capital from Africa, as well as sanctions and other restrictive measures that are taken in the world in order to prevent the widespread export of funds of illicit origin from Africa.


illicit financial flows, sanctions, legal restrictions, elites, corruption, Africa, global financial management




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