..Says Illicit financial flow a big challenge in Africa
Martins Ifijeh, Shola Oyeyipo, Funke Olaode in Washington DC
The World Bank Group has revealed that the level of poverty in Nigeria and other Sub Saharan African countries is getting worse despite other regions making progress on shared prosperity.
It also said illicit transfer of funds from the region to the developed world had become a huge challenge that must be tackled appropriately.
Stating this during the World Bank press briefing Thursday at the ongoing IMF/WB Spring Meeting in Washington DC, the President of the World Bank, David Malpass, said if the regional challenge was not tackled urgently before year 2030, it may slip the nations into extreme poverty with the citizens most affected.
He said: “By 2030, nearly nine in 10 poor people will be from Africa, while progresses are predicted to be made in other regions. This is troubling and we must collaborate to address this. The World Bank Group is financially strong, but we have started meeting member countries to ensure this is addressed.
“We must coordinate resources to boost prosperities in Africa and other parts of the world. We are also talking to donors and countries involved to arrive at a sustained and workable approach,” he said.
Malpass, who has only spent three days as the president of the institution, said some of the concerns in the tackling of poverty and improvement of the economy in low and middle income countries include climate change, digital economy and capital flow.
He said: “Climate change is one huge challenge at the moment, and we believe the Bank’s goal in addressing it can be achieved. Digital economy will help boost economic development.
” Some countries have success stories that sub Sahara African countries and other countries can learn from. One of such nations is China which has been able to reduce poverty to a great extent.”
He also stated that on illicit financial flows, the bank will continue to work with nations to ensure such funds are tracked, and that financial flows should be done legitimately.
He also stated that Nigeria and 16 other countries were at risk of debt financial distress.
“Debt helps economies grow but if not done in a transparent way it can drag down such economies. That is why we need transparent disclosures of debts as they are created,” he said.