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New Estimates of Capital Flight from Sub-Saharan African Countries: Linkages with External Borrowing and Policy Options, by Léonce Ndikumana & James K. Boyce (April 2008 )

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This paper has presented new evidence on the dramatic financial hemorrhage of African economies through capital flight countries over the past four decades. The estimates indicate that for the sample of 40 countries as a whole over the period 1970 – 2004, real capital flight amounted to $420 billion (in 2004 dollars). Including imputed interest, the stock of capital flight for this group of countries reached a staggering $607 billion dollars in 2004. This exceeds the countries’ combined external debt by $398 billion, making Africa a “net creditor” to the rest of the world. For some countries, including Angola, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria, the stock of capital flight is more than four times the stock of external debt.

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