The quest to stem the illicit financial flows (IFFs) in Africa received a boost this week in Kampala, Uganda, where university students in East Africa partook in a campaign to assist the cause.
The Stop Bleeding campaign – which is in its second year and drew in 30 students from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi – is a competition seeking to demystify tax policy while raising awareness among students on the importance of tax justice for Africa's development.
The campaign is jointly organised by the Tax Justice Network-Africa (TJN-A) and the Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute.
A high-level panel on IFFs, led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, said in its UN Economic Commission for Africa report that Africa had lost an annual $50 billion in IFFs between the years 2000 and 2008.
Head of the African Capacity Building Foundation professor Emmanuel Nnadozie emphasised to African Independent earlier this year that the continent can recoup its billions and stem illicit outflows, asserting: "The idea is to stop the bleeding."
Nnadozie was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting dealing with IFFs, and Mbeki and his panel were in attendance. The Stop Bleeding campaign dovetails beautifully with his assertions.
Executive director of TJN-A Alvin Mosioma enthused at how this competition and campaign will allow students to gain a better understanding of "public finance management and particularly on funds generated on taxation".
Jane Malunga of the National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda elaborated on Mosioma's views about students gaining knowledge on taxation for Africa's development, contending that students "need to start asking questions on the use of those taxes".