Increased financial transparency regulations are critical if we are to stem the illicit capital flows which are crippling Africa. The past week the spotlight has been on James Ibori, the governor of Nigeria's Delta State from 1999 to 2007 who pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to 10 counts relating to conspiracy to launder funds from the state he governed.
With poverty and inequality increasingly of concern in countries rich and poor, we should together seize the opportunity to tackle financial secrecy – both to guard against the instability that threatens economic progress, and to curtail the tax evasion and corruption that undermine our states and actions to reduce poverty.
I am a Ghanaian development economist, who has been active in international development for over 20 years; as a researcher and lecturer, as an NGO activist and development professional in several parts of the world. Working with others, I co-founded several development organisations around the world, including the Third World Network, ISODEC and the Centre for Public Interest Law in Ghana. Heading the United Nations Millennium Campaign in Africa, till December 2014. I currently head Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), Ghana.