With the theme titled, “Tackling Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs): the role of African legislators”, the two day conference under way in the capital Lilongwe- (May 5-6, 20015) organized by Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) and Tax Justice Network-Africa (TJN-A) is expected to design a strengthening platform for African Members of Parliament (MPs) in dealing illicit financial flows.
The meeting has drawn participants from 20 parliamentarians from all five major regional economic blocs in Africa, officials from Economic Commission for Africa, African CSOs working on IFF and the media.
Speaking in an interview with the Maravi Post, Richard Msowoya, Malawi’s National Assembly Speaker expressed sadness on tax invasion and financial outflows the continent was experiencing saying the malpractice has increased poverty among the general populace hence calling legislators to formulate laws in tackling the challenge.
“Due to financial outflows duped in Malawi as cash gate, our people don’t have drugs in hospitals, pupils are still learning under the trees, roads are still impassable. If all the money wasn’t diverted to illegal means, the continent could be much better than now as we are rich in natural resources and continual flow of financial aid from donors.
“The time has ripen for the continent to stand together in fighting illicit financial outflows through practical and workable formulation of legislation hence the appeal to fellow members parliament across Africa to drastically to challenge the wrong doers”, urges Msowoya.
Echoing on the same, Dalitso Kubalasa MEJN’s Executive Director said that the outcome of the conference would bring sanity in the continent as MPs were expected to agree on coordination mechanism between African Parliamentarians Network on Illicit Financial Flows and Tax (APNIFFT) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
“This is timely intervention in dealing with the financial outflows which has yielded nothing to the poor but inflicting poverty characterized by poor services delivery, unemployment among the youths. As CSOs we are optimistic that the outcome of the meeting will break the horizon of financial mismanagement through tangible policies and laws in addressing the vice”, says Kubalasa.
This is the second conference for APNIFFT since its establishment that Malawi is hosting for the first time.