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Other titles in the African Arguments series:
Africa's Odious Debts: How Foreign Loans and Capital Flight Bled a Continent (African Arguments)by Leonce Ndikumana
Synopses & Reviews
In Africa's Odious Debts, Boyce and Ndikumana reveal the shocking fact that, contrary to the popular perception of Africa being a drain on the financial resources of the West, the continent is actually a net creditor to the rest of the world. The extent of capital flight from sub-Saharan Africa is remarkable: more than $700 billion in the past four decades. But Africas foreign assets remain private and hidden, while its foreign debts are public, owed by the people of Africa through their governments.
Léonce Ndikumana and James K. Boyce reveal the intimate links between foreign loans and capital flight. Of the money borrowed by African governments in recent decades, more than half departed in the same year, with a significant portion of it winding up in private accounts at the very banks that provided the loans in the first place. Meanwhile, debt-service payments continue to drain scarce resources from Africa, cutting into funds available for public health and other needs. Controversially, the authors argue that African governments should repudiate these ‘odious debts from which their people derived no benefit, and that the international community should assist in this effort.
A vital book for anyone interested in Africa, its future and its relationship with the West.
The latest title in the hugely successful African Arguments series, Africa's Odious Debt reveals that, contrary to the popular perception of Africa being a drain on the financial resources of the developed world, more money destined for the West leaves the continent than it actually receives.
The extent of capital flight from sub-Saharan Africa is remarkable: $420 billion in the period 1970-2004 — this hemorrhaging of capital being substantialy fueled by borrowing from international creditors. It also shows the hidden counterparts of Africa's external debts are the external assets built through such capital flight. The crucial difference being that whereas the debts are owed by the African people through their governments, these assets are strictly private, held by wealthy and politically well-connected individuals.
Connecting these dots, the authors make a convincing and forcefully argued case for selective repudiation of Africa's "odious debts": external debts incurred by kleptocratic regimes without the consent of their people, from which the people derived no economic benefit.
This is a vital book for anyone interested in Africa, its future and its relationship with the West.
About the Author
James K. Boyce is Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Léonce Ndikumana is Director of the Development Research Department at the African Development Bank.
Table of Contents
Introduction * Tales from Two Countries * Measuring African Capital Flight * The Revolving Door: Debt and Capital Flight * The Human Costs of Debt-Fuelled Flight * Africa's Odious Debt: The Way Forward
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