Linkages between Illicit Financial Flows and the Non-realisation of the Right to Development in Africa

Author Gerard Emmanuel Kamdem Kamga

ISSN: 2522-3062
Affiliations: Associate degree, Bachelor degree (University of Dschang); Maitrise (Yaoundé II); LLM, LLD (University of Pretoria). Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Law, Department of Public Law, University of the Free State.
Source: Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa, The, Volume 51 Issue 2, p. 169 – 192


In this article, I start on the premise that the gap between the excellent economic performance of Africa and its state of generalised underdevelopment coupled with rampant poverty, corruption, prolonged economic crisis and political instabilities is not the cause but rather the symptom of a deeper evil. In doing so, I review the extent to which the right to development in Africa has not been realised owing to the proliferation of illicit financial flows. The fact is that development is a broad concept, for not only does it include sound economic performance and fair distribution of benefits, but it requires the improvement of the living conditions of individual citizens through the provision of healthcare services, housing, education and infrastructures. This article will shed light on the scope, mechanisms and patterns as well as sophisticated criminal networks and obscure chains of command through which a persistent proliferation of illicit outflows of capital divert resources from their legitimate purpose and result in states losing control over staggering funds and assets that could otherwise be used for poverty alleviation and other basic needs. The article reviews from a comparative perspective some instruments and initiatives in a bid to curb illicit financial flows.