Mbeki continues campaign against trade-based financial crime, calls on ALSF to focus more on IFFs

“The African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) must assist African countries to negotiate fair and balanced contracts to eliminate opportunities for illicit receipt, use, or transfer of funds,” says former president of South Africa and current chair of the African Union’s High-level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Africa, Thabo Mbeki.

Trade-based financial crime is a focus for Mbeki, who is concerned about IFFs facilitated by substantial over- and under-invoicing of Africa’s rich store of natural resources (Trade-based Financial Crime, 4 May 2016).

Beyond current remit

Mbeki was speaking last week at a high-level conference of African leaders to review the facility’s achievements over the last decade.

“The ALSF has already established its place as what might be called a front-line fighter to secure for Africa its resources,” he said in his call for the facility to focus more on fighting IFFs and securing fair contracts for African countries and their commercial partners.

The ALSF’s main objectives so far include helping African governments defend against litigation brought against them by vulture funds and providing legal advisory services to help countries structure and negotiate complex commercial transactions, including those related to extractives and natural resources, infrastructure and sovereign debt.

Achievements so far

Since its establishment in 2008, ALSF has provided expert legal advice and technical assistance to African countries in negotiating complex commercial transactions, including creditor litigation.

Hosted by the African Development Bank, the facility has also helped conclude commercial investment deals worth over US$75 billion while its interventions have saved African countries an estimated US$4 billion in the last three years.


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