To deal with the issues of child and forced labour on the African continent, Ghana has called for an end to the illicit transfer of wealth into Europe, North America and, recently, Asia.
It observed that even though there is a $500 billion annual funding gap in Africa’s budget, more than $800 billion is still unlawfully transported to Europe, North America and Asia.
The First Rapporteur of the ECOWAS Parliament Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security, and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Mahama Ayariga, stressed the importance of closing the financial gaps for Africa’s wealth to stay on the continent while speaking at the First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.
“If you access the budget financing gaps of African countries, you’ll find that annually, we have about $500billion budget financing gaps across the continent and yet we are illicitly transferring over $800billion when we need about $500billion to fill our gaps,” he said.
“If the advocacy that the hype in other global organisations widely networked can focus on Europe, North America, and Asia assisting to block those holes that enable activities like illicit wealth transfer from Africa to the developed world and that wealth remains in Africa, it will enhance the capacity of governments and countries in Africa to be able to improve the livelihoods of our people and strengthen institutional mechanisms to deal with so many issues including issues of child and forced labour,” he added.
Equal distribution of wealth
Beyond that, Mr Mahama Ayariga also made a case for the equal distribution of wealth at both the sub-regional and global levels for African countries.
According to him, only a small percentage of African citizens benefit from the distribution of wealth in their countries because these nations have not quite mastered the ability to change their tax structures in a way that effectively transfers wealth from the extremely wealthy to the extremely vulnerable and poor.
Meanwhile, on a global scale, “10 percent of the population sometimes keeps about 90% of the entire world’s wealth,” he said.
“At the very bottom of it, is a question of resources because nobody gives birth to a child wanting the child to indulge in forced labour as a means of survival but sometimes parents are compelled to indulge in it,” the First Rapporteur said.
“No country wants to watch its children being subjected to those conditions they just don’t have the budgetary capacity to deal with the problems and supports institutions that have purposed to deal with the problem,” he added.
Additionally, Mr Mahama Ayariga pushed for the removal of trade barriers between Africa and its North American, European and Asian counterparts for effective trading among each other.
In his view, the wealth that will be generated for Africa will enable the continent to deal with issues of child and forced labour.
“As the sub-regional Parliament, let me indicate that ECOWAS itself has a framework for dealing with the fundamental issues that engender child and forced labour. If we open our borders, trade among ourselves, reduce the barriers, we definitely and internally will be able to generate wealth. That wealth, if shared equitably will enable households to take care of their children and reduce the incidents of child labour,” he further indicated.
Mahama Ayariga continued “If we don’t deal with the issues of hunger, parents will send their children out there to labour to be able to feed the family. If we don’t deal with the other issues of unemployment, income inequality, etc, you undermine the capacity of parents to be able to cater to their wards and
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