Global Justice Now's 2017 Honest Accounts report detailed how money moved between Africa and the rest of the world. Each year while $162 billion flows into Africa, $203 billion flows out making Africa a net annual contributor to the rest of the world to the tune of $41 billion. In the colonial era past these funds were taken through slave trade, but in the contemporary period ways include debt servicing and especially the way in which the global north facilitates tax dodging.
Africa has the gold and diamonds we like to wear; the oil that fuels our lifestyles, and the copper and cobalt that go into much of our technology. So each of is probably using or wearing something right now which was dug out of African soil. Zambian copper, South African gold, Ghanaian oil and more are all very profitable and taxes, when paid, go to support the Zambian, or South African or Ghanaian public services – paying the salaries of teachers, funding healthcare. However, companies extracting these minerals use ingenious ways to avoid* paying those taxes, and they do this to the tune of $60-70bn a year – three times the amount the continent receives in official aid. Thacker points out that while each of us may not be personally stealing from Africa, "we are the ones who buy the goods from those companies and it is our government that is facilitating these practices. We may not be directly involved but through our consumer decisions and through our lobbying (or lack of it) we bear some responsibility."
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* The result arenot dissimilar to this UK property developer avoiding payment of £45m to a new community-benefit levy in one of London's poorest boroughs with a 49% BAME population.