The Economy of Illicit Trade in West Africa

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 14, 2018–Some USD 50 billion leaves Africa each year in illicit financial flows – more than the continent receives in development aid – in a vicious cycle that aggravates poverty and insecurity and enriches criminal networks.

The OECD will launch a new report, Illicit Financial Flows: The economy of Illicit Trade in West Africa, on Tuesday 20 February that examines how these flows hinder development. The OECD will use the launch event to outline plans for closer co-operation with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to combat illicit flows and will call on donor countries and local governments to also step up their actions.

OECD Deputy Secretary-General Masamichi Kono will launch the report with other speakers including Ambassador Segun Apata, Member of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa; UNECA Deputy Executive Secretary Abdallah Hamdok; Development Assistance Committee Chair Charlotte Petri Gornitzka and the Director of the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate, Jorge Moreira da Silva. Representatives from the African Development Bank, World Bank Group and the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa will also attend.

Journalists are welcome to attend the launch and an 8:30 a.m. media briefing with Segun Apata, Jorge Moreira da Silva and Nadine Gbossa, head of Global Development Partnerships and Policies at the OECD.

To register attendance, or to request a copy of the report, journalists should contact Louise Fietz in the OECD Media Office (, +33 1 45 24 97 00)

Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

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