18 September 2007

good news for africa, but who gets these resources?

I have always dreamt of real humans taking care of the affairs of their fellow humans who for one reason or the other are not opportuned to handle certain issues concerning their immediate communities.In this i mean our"beloved" leaders who always think about their well-being and that of their western godfathers who protect this persistent "chop a chop", forgetting the people they represent;what does this mean?Oh,waiting for your comments!!!
September 17, 2007
Countries to Get Help Recovering Stolen Assets

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 17 — The World Bank and the United Nations announced this afternoon that they were setting up a system to help developing nations recover assets stolen and sent abroad by corrupt leaders that amount to an estimated $40 billion a year.

“There should be no safe haven for those who steal from the poor,” Robert B. Zoellick, the bank’s president, said in unveiling the plan with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Mr. Zoellick estimated that the overall cross-border flow of global proceeds from criminal activities, corruption and tax evasion totaled $1 trillion to $1.6 trillion a year and said even a small portion of that could finance a significant level of social programs.

He said that every $100 million recovered could pay for immunizations for four million children, provide water connections for 250,000 households or finance treatment for more than 600,000 people with HIV/AIDS a year.

The problem of stolen assets is widespread but most acute in Africa, where an estimated 25 percent of the gross national product of states is lost to corruption, he said.

The new system will work to build the capacity of developing countries to track stolen money going overseas and to emphasize ways that financial centers can better detect and deter money-laundering.

“This is not just a developing-country issue because the funds inevitably end up in developed countries,” said Danny Leipziger, the bank’s vice president for poverty reduction and economic management.

In addition, the bank intends to assist countries in devoting recovered money to proper development use “to make sure it is not stolen twice,” Mr. Leipziger said.

The program is being developed in partnership with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, whose executive director, Antonio Maria Costa, said the initiative came at a time when the sophistication of financial transactions made recovery an increasingly complex process requiring expert assistance.

“Once stolen assets leave the victim country, they are broken up so cleverly, into so many different bundles and hidden in so many financial vehicles that they are hard to identify,” he said.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the former finance minister of Nigeria, who oversaw the return of $505 million to her country from Switzerland, said the new plan would help countries like hers by denying corrupt officials a foreign place to hide the money.

“It means that people who are corrupt will know that any money sent out will be sent back to the countries from which they came,” she said.

Ms. Okonjo-Iweala said that at the time she was working to repatriate Nigerian money in 2005, the campaign had to be conducted on a bilateral basis and did not produce timely results. “There are some countries — I don’t want to name them — whose legislation only allows them to freeze the assets if they are discovered, and there is nothing that says they should repatriate them,” she said.

That has changed since the United Nations Convention Against Corruption came into effect in December 2005 that obliges countries that ratified it to cooperate.

However, there are 98 countries that have not ratified it, including Canada, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan and Switzerland. “Part of our advocacy role will be to urge countries that are not parties to become parties,” Ms. Okonjo-Iweala said.

Mr. Leipziger said the bank was setting up contact points so that interested countries could report suspicions about stolen money leaving their countries in a prompt and confidential manner.

He said that there had been cases where countries would make the sensitive political decision to go after the money but then had no way of pursuing it.

“Even if you took the police side of it and said, ‘We know where it is,’ in order to get your hands on it, you have to go through a number of very laborious steps, and we think we can help in that process,” he said.


  1. Africa has also suffered particularly because the proceeds of corruption tend to
    be banked or spent outside of the continent. Capital flight is possibly Africa’s
    biggest financial problem. The African Union estimates that $148 billion a year
    leaves the continent because of corruption28. This represents a quarter of the
    continent’s GDP29. Other estimates of the amount of total illicit proceeds coming
    out of Africa (including corrupt, commercial and criminal proceeds) are in the
    order of $100-200 billion30. This dwarfs the aid and debt relief Africa is receiving:
    “We have been putting some $25 billion a year of foreign aid into Africa in the most recent years.
    Compare that with my estimate of the amount of money that goes illegally out of Africa and
    ultimately into Western coffers, $100-200 billion. In other words, for every $1 of foreign aid that
    we are generously handing out across the top of the table, we are taking back some $4-8 in dirty
    money under the table.”31
    Furthermore, in Africa’s case the outflow of illicit money tends to be permanent ----
    From a report by the Africa All Party Parliamentary Group (UL) 2006.

  2. It seems there are people who are really interested and following up what is happening in Africa,and i believe one of them is you.As a Cameroonian by birth i will only hail you but also bring you to reasoning.
    All what is happening in Africa all this long is a consequence of colonialism and post colonialism and imperialism,then corruption of our puppet leaders who are sustained by the west.I you are against this truity then you'll have to oppose and in Africa opposition is equals to War,for the small fish is always eaten by the big fish!Not just because the big fish is that big,but because it also posesses airbags and gun proofs from another planet(the west) and so what is to be done?
    I believe it's time to throw away hypocrisy and give back to Africa what it deserves and this applies to the world atlarge.If with my money,strength and influence i support and sustain a thief or criminal(because of personal interest),it means i'm sowing seeds of many more thiefs and criminals not only in Africa but to the entire globe.But i have this pertinent question to ask,and it's been living in me for so long;"the late president MUMBUTU SESESEKO of ex Zaire owned almost half of Brussels and frequented normally all fathers of world democracy untill his death and uptill date we 're asking ourselves why there's war in the CONGO?"I could go on for long but i believe to bring an end to this poverty stuff,hypocrisy must stop and the fight will gain a fresh and honest bases in which the corrupt won't have any cover at all.
    Thanks a lot for your contribution and i hope you'll be back soon!

  3. "All what is happening in Africa all this long is a consequence of colonialism and post colonialism and imperialism,then corruption of our puppet leaders who are sustained by the west."

    A vicious cycle isn't it?
    The fear of colonialism held over the heads the fear of history repeating itself tends to play into the hands of the tyrannical governments and also into the hands of foreign governments who wish to exploit Africa - without direct colorization - for their own economic benefit. So the money spent outside of Africa - also a direct result of the agreements or deals ( written or expressed) the governments in Africa have with other countries who may or may not be as overtly corrupt. What a huge conundrum. As complicated as the situation is in Africa, and coming from the US, where the corruption is less but consitent just not stated and not addressed with any consistency, I wonder what the solution is for Africa.

  4. thanks cooper for sharing your views in this our page.One old man sometime ago used to tell me the consequences of the west "discovering" africa,but i was too young to understand certain issues and maybe because i was fascinated by the west at the time.He said they came with religion but it wasn't enough,slave trade neither,colonialism the same,communism,democracy and capitalism(the mother of corruption)and now post colonialism and call it whatever;as we all know ,If this so powerful almighty west really wants these tendencies to stop for real,it will happen just in a click.But since the game is captained by them,then there will be scarcely an answer as you say."The answer is blowing in the wind"as a friend said in her blog the other day!But we have to blow this wind to become the wind of change;it is my appeal to the social community,everybody!
    Have a nice day and hope to have you back!


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