Report: Africa loses billions annually to corruption, tax evasion

May 10, 2013 at 11:59 AM

NEW YORK, May 10 (UPI) -- Tax avoidance, secret government deals and other illicit schemes cost African nations $38 billion a year, a U.N. panel said.

The panel, headed by former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, called for African countries to improve their governance and for the world's richest nations to create global rules on transparency and taxation, the BBC reported Friday.

Annan said Africa loses twice as much money through loopholes as it gets from donors.

The report cited the example of five mining concessions sold at below-market prices by the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2010 to 2012 that cost the country $1.3 billion in revenue.

In Zambia, the report noted, 500,000 copper miners had a higher tax rate from 2005 to 2009 than major multinational mining firms.

Annan, who is from Ghana, said African countries are not getting the revenues they deserve because of corrupt practices, transfer pricing, tax evasion and other illicit activities.

He called on the Group of Eight most industrialized nations to come up with a multilateral solution to the crisis when it meets next month.

The 10-member Africa Progress panel produced the report, which is released each May. The panel this year included prominent figures such as former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo and Graca Michel, the wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela.

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