By Fred Yaw Sarpong
Africa Progress Report (APP) released last Friday by Africa Progress Panel indicated that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) or private inflows into Sub-Saharan Africa exceed international aid into the region.
The report which was launched by Chairman of the panel, Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General said private flows, including FDI into the sub-region was about US$55 billion in 2012, compare to about US$48 billion that came from international partners aid to region.
The report advocates for shared responsibility between African leaders and their international partners to promote equitable and sustainable development for Africa. The report which is published every year is the APPs flagship publication.
The report also found that trade mispricing, or losses associated with the misrepresentation of export and import values, alongside other illicit outflows cost the continent US$38.4 billion and US$25 billion respectively between 2008 and 2010.
Ghana together with Tanzania, Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso contributed 9% to the world’s production of Gold.
According to him it was "unconscionable that some companies, often supported by dishonest officials, are using unethical tax avoidance, transfer pricing and anonymous company ownership to maximise their profits, while millions of Africans go without adequate nutrition, health and education".
The report revealed in its assessment of the challenges that still face many countries in developing their oil and mineral wealth.
Annan said Africa is standing on the edge of enormous opportunity. ‘Will we invest our natural resource revenue in people, generating jobs and opportunities for millions in present and future generations? Or will we squander this opportunity, allowing jobless growth and inequality to take root? He asked.
He said that in many countries, for example, natural resource revenues are widening the gap between rich and poor. Although much has been achieved, a decade of highly impressive growth has not brought comparable improvements in health, education and nutrition.
‘Indeed, our continent still faces many challenges, but this year’s Africa Progress Report finds good reason to be optimistic. Building on a decade of strong growth, economic governance continues to improve, providing protection against the boom-bust cycle fuelled by earlier commodity booms. Across the region, democracy is sinking deeper roots – and the accountability that comes with democracy strengthens natural resource management,’ said the ex- UN Boss.
The report states that, Shell Oil Company generated revenue of US$467.2 billion in 2012 alone. This is compared to Nigeria's GDP of US$244 billion, Angola's GDP of US$104.3 billion and Gabon's GDP of US$17.1 billion.
Poor governance of state companies and assets are also associated with extensive revenues losses, the report found.
In 2012 Angola was unable to account for US$4.2 billion, according to the report. Nigeria meanwhile was estimated to have lost US$6.8 billion between 2010 and 2012.
Through the report, the Panel recommends a series of policy choices and actions for African policy makers who have primary responsibility for Africa’s progress, as well as international partners and civil society organizations.