Africa woos Europe to return stolen funds

Friday April 08 2016
auc eu

Left, Federica Mogherini, the Vice President of the European Commission High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy at a press conference with Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairperson of the African Union Commission on April 7, 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. PHOTO | ANDUALEM SISAY

The African Union Commission continues to discuss with the European Commission the repatriation of illicit money from the continent, an official said.

“There are illicit funds from Africa in European banks. We started discussions with the European Union some years ago to bring back these funds. We find it morally and economically good for the banks to send the funds back,” said the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

“We can use this money for implementations of Agenda 2063 and advance mother and children’s health in the continent and the like,” she said, Thursday evening at a brief press conference that followed the opening of the annual ‘College-to College Meeting of AUC and European Commission (EC)’.

Africa loses around $50 billion every year through illicit finance flow, which is almost double the Official Development Assistance (ODA) the continent receives, according to the 2015 UN report by a high-level panel on illicit cash transfers, chaired by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

READ: Continent losing over $50b annually in illicit transfer of funds

The two sides also discussed various areas of cooperation, ranging from tackling migration to fighting terrorism, according to Ms Federica Mogherini, the Vice-President of the EC High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.


“Investing in African security is like investing in security of the world… We have been engaged with 35 AU member states on different areas of cooperation with joint action plans. In addition, we are also already engaged bilaterally with 13 of these countries in different projects, including local community support and border management,” Ms Mogherini said.

“It is not a one size fits all approach. With EU trust Fund for Africa, we are financing various projects in the Horn of Africa, Sahel and Lake Chad regions,” she said, stating that EU had already allocated 715 million Euros for such projects.

The discussions were centred around the priority areas of the 2014 - 2017 Roadmap adopted at the Africa-EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium in 2014. They include peace and security, human development, global and emerging issues as well as democracy.