The Role of Western Countries in African Corruption


This is an article I wrote in Foreign Policy about the role that Western countries play in African corruption.

Excerpts:

The Bandits’ Banker

It’s no secret that corruption is a problem in Africa. Some $50 billion in illicit finance flows out of the continent every year, according to the United Nations. In the first 40 years of independence alone, Nigeria’s leaders stole or
squandered an estimated $400 billion. But as the barbed comments from Buhari imply, these leaders had accomplices in the West. Britain and other developed countries are not the cause of Africa’s corruption, but they are certainly an impediment to its eradication.

 

African governments are fighting a battle on two fronts. Even when they successfully prosecute corruption at home, they often have to restart litigation in foreign countries to have any hope of accessing the stolen funds. In other words, they must litigate every crime twice: domestically to secure a conviction, and abroad to recover the money. This all but ensures that the stolen funds won’t be repatriated in full, since foreign lawyers typically collect a percentage of the money they recover. For African governments, illicit financial flows are lose-lose. But for Western firms, they’re win-win: There are profits to be made whether or not the money is eventually recovered and returned.

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2 responses

  1. We have long known this ugly involvement of foreign coutries in the outflow of stolen funds from African countries. The United Nations, in my opinion has not done enough to aid recollection of these funds. More must be done even if it means infringing on the rights of these corrupt individuals.

  2. Western countries are not helping African Countries enough to locate and retrieve stolen funds.

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