Briefing on the Economic Development in Africa Report: Tackling illicit financial flows for sustainable development in Africa

30 November 2020
16:00 - 18:00 hrs. CET

Context and objective

Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, will require an unprecedented mobilization of resources for African economies. UNCTAD estimates the annual SDG financing gap for Africa at around US$ 200 million. This financing gap is exacerbated in the short run by the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on the global economy. The African Development Bank, notes that Africa requires between US$ 110 - US$ 154 billion to recover from the pandemic. In the medium to long run, the continent critically needs financial resources to ensure the effective implementation of the landmark Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

At the same time, Africa loses tens of billions of USD every year through Illicit financial flows (IFFs), depriving its economies of much-needed domestic resources to foster inclusive growth. IFFs have been recognized globally as a serious impediment to development; thus, calls to tackle these flows have been at the top of international debates over the past two decades. Furthermore, there is a need to pay critical attention to IFFs in the midst of COVID-19 which may exert some risks with these flows, driven mainly by instability and volatility in financial markets as well as uncertainty over investment returns.

Contributing to ongoing efforts to tackle IFFs at global and continental levels, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) dedicated its Economic Development in Africa Report (EDAR) 2020 to an analysis of IFFs. The report provides updated assessments of these flows within African context; evaluates their impacts on the continent’s sustainable development considering economic, social and environmental dimensions; and, formulates a set of policy recommendations to support national and regional efforts to fight them.

This webinar represents a forum for discussing alternative policy options for Africa and for disseminating UNCTAD’s policy analysis with a view to having a greater impact on the development debate. In the context of forthcoming Fifteenth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 15) and the Fifth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC-V), it is therefore an occasion to widen and deepen policy dialogue between UNCTAD and UN member States.

Organizational arrangements

The webinar will be attended by policy makers and delegates from member States, Regional Economic Communities, the private sector, academia, and development institutions.

It will be held on 30 November 2020 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Geneva time); 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (New York time).

The meeting will be held virtually via Webex.

The working language will be English.

For further information, kindly contact Mr. Rostand Ngadjie Siani ( and Mr. Komi Tsowou ( copying Mr. Junior Davis ( 

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12 Nov 2020
Tackling Illicit Financial Flows for Sustainable Development in Africa
(UNCTAD/ALDC/AFRICA/2020) -  28 Sep 2020



Africa Africa




Mr. Rostand Ngadjie Siani

Mr. Komi Tsowou

Mr. Junior Davis