Today a movement is born. This morning in Nairobi’s Uhuru park, a place historically associated with the struggle for freedom, campaigners and journalists from throughout Africa gathered see the launch of the Stop the Bleeding Campaign.
The campaign has been launched off the back of the UN Economic Committee for Africa and the African Union’s High Level Panel report on illicit financial flows. The report estimated that over $50 bn a year was being taken from the continent in the form of tax avoidance by multi-nationals, corruption and criminality.
A group of 6 pan-African organisations have organised the campaign, the Tax Justice Network-Africa, Third World Network-Africa, Africa Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD), the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) and Trust Africa. Their goal is to get the conversation about illicit financial flows out of the technical discussions between governments, international organisations and NGOs and take it to the public. They are seeking to get a million voices to support the campaign from across the continent.
The campaign is demanding that governments in Africa take action to:
- Put an end to tax holidays for big business and unfair tax incentives
- Make sure foreign companies pay better wages
- Improve public services such as education, healthcare, housing and water.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Briggs Bomba, from Trust Africa said:
“Africa is bleeding at a time when we should be talking about Africa’s renaissance or Africa rising. Fifty billion dollars is our annual budget for infrastructure across the continent… it is a lot of money. We are tired and we have had enough, it is beyond morally reprehensible. Africa does not deserve to lose a dollar, let alone $50 bn”
Finance Uncovered was at the launch to see the rally and march through Nairobi. You can hear one of the speakers Joel Odigie from the International Trade Union Confederation, below: