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08.07.2005 General News

Return the stolen funds - Sachs


Accra, July 8, GNA - Professor Jeffry Sachs, United Nations Secretary-General's Special Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) on Friday charged banks harbouring funds stolen from Africa to repatriate them as a first step of making African economies sustainable. He said Africa has the potential of meeting the MDG's and reduce poverty if the monies, some of which were in European Banks were repatriated into economies on the continent.

Prof was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, after holding consultations with the Ministry of Finance and representatives of the various sector Ministries.

Portions of The Africa Commission Report indicated that large funds stolen by former African leaders had stashed in foreign banks. Prof Sachs congratulated the efforts of President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria to return the million of dollars stolen by former President Sani Abacha and stashed in Switzerland.

"The funds definitely must return to Africa where they are most needed."

Prof Sachs was however, quick to add, "what is most required is to halt the continues and current outflow of money in the form of debt servicing."

He welcomed the United Kingdom and US position to forgive Africa's debt, saying, "Ghana is well positioned in terms of democracy and good governance and is a sure candidate for 100 per cent debt cancellation." He argued that African countries deserved 100 per cent debt cancellation, as it was the only way forward to overcome the dire challenges facing them.

Prime Minister Tony Blair's G8 has proposed a 40 billion dollar debt cancellation for 14 of Africa's poorest countries while President George Bush has proposed debt cancellation for countries vigorously pursuing democracy and good governance.

"It is important to change the face of health services, roads, agriculture, port facilities, education, infant and maternal mortality, environment and sanitation."