African Union High-level Panel on IFFs discusses achievements on recovery of stolen assets

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, 26 FEBRUARY 2022. The African Union High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows (HLP-IFFs) from Africa, under the leadership of H.E. Mr Thabo Mbeki, Former President of the Republic of South Africa and Chair of HLP-IFFs, on Wednesday, 23 February 2022, engaged members of its Working Group on Implementation of the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR) to review achievements until date and discuss further actions in supporting African Union Member States to recover their stolen assets from foreign jurisdictions.

Led by Hon. Barrister Akere Muna, Chairman, International Anti-Corruption Conference Council, the working group discussion featured presentations of follow-up actions on issues discussed in the last meeting of the group held in July 2021. These include country level activities; the side-event held in Sham El Sheik, Egypt, during the Ninth Session of the UNCAC Conference of States Parties (9th CoSP) in December 2021; and the implementation framework for CAPAR priority activities.

Participants discussed the development of a revised work plan for dissemination and implementation of CAPAR at the country level; resource mobilization to support Member States in implementing the CAPAR; and the development of national level and continental legal and technical frameworks for negotiating the return of African assets, including proceeds of corruption, tax evasion, illicit enrichments, and artefacts, consigned to foreign jurisdictions.

The Working Group on Implementation of CAPAR is one of the three working groups of the HLP-IFFs. It is currently co-chaired by H.E. Bankole Adeoye, Commissioner for Political Affairs and Peace and Security, African Union Commission, and Hon. Jean Louis Andriamifidy, Chair of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption. The other two working groups are the Working Group on the Trust Fund to Support the Implementation of the IFF Agenda and the Working Group on the National Level Responses and Governance of Natural Resources.

Some African countries have succeeded in recovering some of their stolen assets from foreign jurisdictions, including Ethiopia, Nigeria and Mali, and more are at different stages of the return processes. With the adoption of CAPAR by the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government during their 33rd Session in February 2020, African countries have started receiving support at the continental level through the HLP-IFFs to facilitate the return of more of these assets. The continental work plan and framework being developed by the CAPAR working group will facilitate the implementation of coordinated strategies to further ongoing efforts by several African governments.

For additional information on the event:

Mr. Issaka Garba Abdou, Acting Head of Governance and Human Rights Division (GCP/ PAPS), African Union Commission, E-mail: GarbaAdoui@africa-union.org, Tel: +251936543849.

Ms Souad Aden-Osman, Executive Director, Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA),
Email: Aden-Osmans@africa-union.org

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Established in March 2009 as an independent and international but African-owned forum, The Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) identifies and discusses issues of importance to Africa’s development within a global context.

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