Panel Reviews Progress on Recovery of Assets Stolen from Africa

ADDIS ABABA – The African Union High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows (HLP-IFFs) reviewed achievements on recovery of assets stolen from member states, said the pan-African bloc today.

Recent reports say African countries lose up to $150 billion annually through Illicit Financial Flows mainly through tax evasion, mispricing of trade and services by multinational companies.

To address the issue, the 2020 AU leaders summit adopted a Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR) to provide continental level support for member countries to recover their stolen assets.

The leaders also tasked the High-Level panel, chaired by former South Africa president Thabo Mbeki, to facilitate the asset recovery.

Last week, the Panel reviewed achievements on the recovery of stolen assets, engaging members of its working group on the implementation of the CAPAR.

“Some African countries have succeeded in recovering some of their stolen assets from foreign jurisdictions, including Ethiopia, Nigeria and Mali,” the AU said after the review meeting.

More are at different stages of the return processes, it added.

The Panel’s meeting also explored further actions in supporting AU member states to recover their stolen assets from foreign jurisdictions.

These include the development of national and continental legal and technical frameworks for negotiating the return of African assets.

The assets involve proceeds of corruption, tax evasion, illicit enrichments, and artefacts, consigned to foreign jurisdictions, said the African union.

The Working Group on Implementation of CAPAR is one of the three working groups of the HLP-IFFs, and is currently co-chaired by Bankole Adeoye, Commissioner for Political Affairs and Peace and Security of the AU Commission, and Jean Louis Andriamifidy, Chair of the AU Advisory Board on Corruption.