BY MPHO MoAFRIKA JOHN DUBE.
Money stolen by corrupt acts in Africa is estimated to about $150 billion a year which is neither available for the goals set out in the Agenda 2030 nor those in the agenda 2063 to build a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.
BY MPHO MoAFRIKA JOHN DUBE. Endorsed to Serve as Member of Pan African Parliament Communications Committee at Gallagher Estate in Midrand.
As we celebrate Africa Day today under the attack of an invisible dinosaur COVID-19 which continues to haunt sons and daughters of the revolutionary soil I’m a view that we need to reflect about challenges faced by us Africans. The revolution will not be televised so said the Grammy Award Winning Artist Gil Scott-Heron from the album Pieces of a man. This song captured the masses globally in the 1970s however to this day it remains relevant. Scott-Heron as an artist was able to envisage that Steve Bantu Biko was clear about the Black Consciousness that being black is not about pigmentation but mental attitude therefore you must first liberate yourselves intellectually.
Pan African Parliament (PAP) leaders agreed that corruption is a cancer that is eating up the African continent therefore the revolution must not be televised but realised without trepidation.The sittings held at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand last year blessed by Yusupha Jobe, Clerk of Parliament Acting Clerk which took place at the PAP chamber at Gallagher Estate in Midrand before going to recess all MPLs agreed that the continent will not only rise against all forms of depression but also emancipate themselves against all odds.It was indeed refreshing to witness PAP’s fourth vice president of PAP Chief Fortune Charumbira lambasting corrupt leaders in Africa when addressing weekly seminars on managing debt and fighting corruption for PAP Committee on Audit and Public Accounts as well as Monetary and Financial Affairs Committee both chaired by Honourable James Gony, acting Chairperson of the Monetary and Financial Affairs Committee.
Money stolen by corrupt acts in Africa is estimated to about $150 billion a year which is neither available for the goals set out in the Agenda 2030 nor those in the agenda 2063 to build a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.That corruption must be treated with iron fists not soft gloves accentuating that public accounts and financial committees must however have a political will to ensure that corruption is restrained without fear or favour was revolutionary and appealing to perceive.
The leakages of our systems haunts us therefore we must fight corruption vehemently. One of the major weaknesses in the systems are created by greed and bribes. During the recent launch of African Parliament Report to deal will amongst others governance issues it was also clear that corruption was the main issue which destroying the African continent.It is a serious misfortune that leaders who are vocal about corruption are being victimised therefore this results fear for speaking the truth to power despite that Africa is bleeding because of corruption. There’s a vicious circle in three arms of the state which is the judiciary, parliament and executive. African leaders who become vocal are being dealt with.The African Organisation of Public Accounts Committees(AFROPAC) defined corruption as the abuse of public power for private benefits and is detrimental to democratic ideas, undermining trust in the state and endangers the credibility of representative institutions elected by the citizens of a country.
Corruption is both a source and facilitator of illicit financial flows (IFF)leaving Africa. The high level panel on IFF in 2015 estimated that $50 billion illicit gains are leaving Africa every year. While in 2018 United Nations Economic Commission (UNECA) estimate that IFF reaches $73 billion a year. IFFs causes shortages of money available for states to spend on national development leading borrowing and increase in debt.
Poor public procurement, absence of transparency and poor tax administration by states has resulted in low revenues and need for borrowing. He pointed out that excessive and unlimited tax incentive without prior approval by parliament exposes countries to risks of reduced revenues. In addition, he highlighted that over the years debts have been on the rise as well as IFFs in Africa.
Last year (2018), the debt to debt to GDP ratio in Africa stood at 55% with some countries exceeding 100%. Debts in some countries are unsustainable implying that such a country is unable to meet its current and future debt service payment without having to restructure its debt and without impairing its economic growth prospects. The cost of servicing such debt and without impairing its economic growth prospects. The cost of servicing such debt becomes greater than country’s available revenue to meet its repayment commitments and government’s obligation to its people in terms of provision of essential services.The African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC) said there are worrying signs that Africa’s debt dependency continues to be unsustainable. Almost 40% of African countries are in danger of slipping into a major debt crisis. Eight countries are already in debt distress; while a further 18 countries are at high risk of joining them – a number that has more than doubled since 2013.Some countries with the highest levels of public debt as a share of GDP are Cabo Verde, Gambia, Congo Rep, Mozambique and Sao Tome e Principe. And debt levels continue to rise dangerously reaching 45.9% of GDP for countries south of the Sahara as at 2017.I concur with AUABC that poorly managed debt crisis would not only set back progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063, it could reverse the development progress made over the last decade after debt relief programmes freed up resources for development in 30 African countries.The current financial frameworks and tools for resolving sovereign debt crises appear unable to deal with the challenges that lay ahead. National authorities tasked with managing public debt are also facing new challenges due to an increasingly volatile global environment.
I coincide with Honourable Ojamal Bendir Khatare of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic that the judiciary will never be independent in Africa if there’s no political will. Corrupt leaders are also not being apprehended, prosecuted and punished for their corruption. Corrupt leaders have bank accounts abroad but nothing is done. We aren’t courageous enough to ask the authorities whatever positions they occupy. They must practise what they preach. Africa is bleeding… We need everything to assist in enhancing the lives of Africans. However we must invest in guarding our resources to ensure that such initiatives in a form of 4IR are effective. It will be disingenuous to subject Africans to the fourth industrial revolution while the west continues to milk our resources and corrupt our leaders to loot African state purses and resources which continues to cripple and paralyze our people who are still subjected to unorthodox trends from doom forces. There’s a need to perform political exorcism which is bleeding our continent. Salute ✊🏿Sons and daughters of the revolutionary soil. Salute ✊🏿✊🏿✊🏿