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Global Financial Integrity Director Addresses AFRICOM Staff
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) welcomed Raymond Baker, director of Global Financial Integrity (GFI), as the guest speaker of the AFRICOM Commander&#39;s Speakers Series held September 23, 2010 on Kelley Barracks. <br /> <br />The event invites
STUTTGART, Germany - Raymond Baker, director of Global Financial Integrity and author Capitalism&#39;s Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System, speaks to U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) staff members, September 23, 2010. Global Financial Integrity recently published an analysis entitled &#34;Illicit Financial Flows from Africa: Hidden Resource for Development.&#34; The study examines a 39-year period, from 1970 through 2008. Utilizing accepted economic models, the study estimates illicit flows totaling $854 billion across the period examined. Baker is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., researching and writing on the linkages between corruption, money laundering, and poverty. The event was part of the AFRICOM Commander&#39;s Speakers Series, which invites visitors with diverse viewpoints to share ideas and thoughts. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Tywanna Sparks)
1 photo: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 1: STUTTGART, Germany - Raymond Baker, director of Global Financial Integrity and author Capitalism's Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System, speaks to U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) staff members, September 23, 2010. Global Financial Integrity recently published an analysis entitled "Illicit Financial Flows from Africa: Hidden Resource for Development." The study examines a 39-year period, from 1970 through 2008. Utilizing accepted economic models, the study estimates illicit flows totaling $854 billion across the period examined. Baker is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., researching and writing on the linkages between corruption, money laundering, and poverty. The event was part of the AFRICOM Commander's Speakers Series, which invites visitors with diverse viewpoints to share ideas and thoughts. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Tywanna Sparks) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) welcomed Raymond Baker, director of Global Financial Integrity (GFI), as the guest speaker of the AFRICOM Commander's Speakers Series held September 23, 2010 on Kelley Barracks.

The event invites visitors with diverse viewpoints to share ideas and thoughts relevant to Africa.

Baker, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., addressed AFRICOM staff on the published GFI report entitled "Illicit Financial Flows from Africa: Hidden Resource for Development."

According to the GFI website, the organization's mission is to promote national and multilateral policies, safeguards, and agreements aimed at curtailing the cross-border flow of illegal money.

The study examines a 39-year period, from 1970 through 2008. Utilizing accepted economic models, the study estimates illicit outflows from Africa estimated at $854 billion across the period examined.

Baker defined illicit money as capital that is illegally earned, transferred, or utilized. "If it breaks laws anywhere along the way it merits the label."

"The outflow in particular is a loss to the country; our estimate is that 70 to 90 percent of the amount of money that illicitly flows out of developing countries never turns around and goes back in," he said. "It is a permanent outflow from developing countries."

Baker stated the basic motivation driving this phenomenon is the shift of money from the poor to the rich and he gave steps to curtail the flow of this money.

Those steps include: establishment of financial intelligence units throughout Africa; creation politically exposed persons lists used in African financial circles; economic transparency; partnerships directly with African nations to curtail illicit financial flows; and institution of financial transparency.

According to the report, "as long as illicit capital continues to hemorrhage out of poor African countries over the long term at a rapid pace, efforts to reduce poverty and boost economic growth will be thwarted as income distribution becomes ever more skewed leading to economic and political instability."

Baker concluded by stating "the flow of illicit money is a problem that requires both Western interests and African interests to solve."

To read the report, visit www.gfip.org.
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