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Impacts of illicit financial flows on peace and security in Africa at the heart of the third Tana High Level Forum

Mahlet Fasil

The third Tana High Level Forum, scheduled to take place in the the lake side city of Bahir Dar, the capital of the Amhara regional state 578km North of Addis Ababa, will be discussing the impacts of Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) in and out of Africa on the continent’s security, organizers say.  

A seminar organized by the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) brought senior policy makers from across Africa on 09–10 April in Addis Ababa and debated capital flight from Africa, which is considered to be one of the continent’s most pressing subjects today.

“The impact of IFFs on Africa’s development is a priority issue for the African Union (AU) and its member states, as evidenced by the establishment of a High-Level Panel (HLP) of eminent persons headed by Former President Thabo Mbeki to address the issue,” according to a statement from the tana Forum organizers. “This year’s Tana Forum seeks to complement this initiative by focusing particularly on the peace and security dimensions.”

In addition to this, the Forum will continue to serve as an opportunity for African leaders, policy makers and other stakeholders to learn from other countries’ experiences in understanding the impact, distinct characteristics and strategies for combating Illicit Financial Flows.


The Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa is a platform for African leaders, key stakeholders, and pro-active strategists to collaboratively engage in exploring and exchanging ideas on African-led solutions to security challenges. The Forum’s mission is to further open and vigorous debate on the nature and causes of Africa’s pressing security threats and, over time, to cultivate a distinctively African voice on how to understand and meet the chief peace and security challenges facing Africa


The Maiden Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, under the theme “Managing Diversity and State Fragility” took place from 14-15 April, 2012, in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

The agenda of the second annual Forum, held in April 2013, focused on the problem of organized crime in Africa, and had paid tribute to the Forum’s greatest champion, the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi.

The Forum is an independent initiative of the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) of Addis Ababa University and of eminent African personalities including Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria and Forum Chairperson, and Ethiopia’s late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

Conservative estimates put the amount of illicit money sneaking out of Africa every year at about $50 billion.

Illustration Credit: Africa Renewal 

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