For Africa to transform itself into the epitome of economic empowerment and self-reliance, the continent needs to prevent illicit outflows from the region, according to Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Citing international reports which put the dirty money figure at $88.6bn in 2020, up from $50bn in 2015, he said: “That is a lot of money in any currency, and it is money we ill-afford to forego. It is money that would make a significant addition to the investable funds of the continent.”
Akufo-Addo was speaking at the Africa Investments Risk And Compliance Summit organised at Oxford University by the Emerging Business Intelligence & Innovation, a compliance and risk management consultancy of the UK.
He added: “We must, therefore, build robust financial compliance systems, and ensure strict enforcement as a deterrent.
“A strong regulatory environment, whilst reducing these illicit outflows, would, in the end, lead to more private capital being attracted to the continent for genuine investment,” he was quoted as saying by the portal Ghana Business News.
Though Akufo-Addo welcomed the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) removing Ghana from its greylist as renewal of the international community’s confidence in the country’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CTF) regime, he commented many of the regulatory requirements are cumbersome and expensive for small countries.
He gave the example of the rule that everyone crossing a border with cash over a certain threshold had to declare it to the authorities.
“To Africa’s predominantly cash-based economies, this is a daunting task. You might, thus, find your country falling foul of the regulations, not because you have done anything wrong, but because you do not have the means to keep up with the paperwork,” he told his audience.
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