The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, Legon has collaborated with top international institutions to provide better ways of tracking illicit financial flows from developing countries.
The three-year project is funded by the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development, a joint initiative of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Swiss National Science Foundation.
The Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (GIIDS), Geneva, Switzerland will play a key role in the project that seeks to analyse the magnitude of factors that influence illicit financial flows through commodity trade and transfer mispricing from resource-rich countries like Ghana.
Speaking to journalists during a stakeholder workshop in Accra on Thursday, Dr Gilles Carbonnier an International and Development Economics Professor at GIIDS said the research looks at the possibility of mobilising tax resources in Ghana in order to finance important development programmes for the country.
“One way to do this is to try to reduce illicit financial outflows out of Ghana that may accrue from the mispricing of trade, the mispricing of export of commodities out of Ghana that reduces the tax base upon which the government can mobilize resources to provide education and other essential development programmes,” Dr Carbonnier said.
Dr Fred M. Dzanku, a Research Fellow at ISSER said domestic resource mobilisation has become critical for the resource-rich developing countries, noting development partners has been declining.
Dr Dzanku said since 1960 when Ghana attained a republican status, the net development assistant inflows had been growing at an average annual rate of about 5.1 percent -- compared with average annual GDP growth rate of about 3.6 percent over the same paired.
The academic research, dubbed, “Curbing Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Resource-rich Developing Countries: Improving Natural Resource Governance to Finance the SDGs” will look at trade mispricing and transfer pricing issues related to gold, copper cocoa, coffee and other commodities.
The aim, among other things, is to provide solid scientific evidence and information for policymakers to reduce the erosion of the tax base.