Kenneth Okpomo Wins Fifth Annual Amartya Sen Essay Prize

Global Financial Integrity and Academics Stand Against Poverty has selected Kenneth Okpomo and Janet Bolarinwa as winners of the fifth annual Amartya Sen Essay Prize: the two best original essays on assessing the human impact of illicit financial flows out of Africa.

Kenneth Okpomo emerged in first place with his essay “Political corruption, illicit financial flows, and the damage they do to the local economy and population: a case study of Nigeria”. He receives a $5,000 prize money for his achievement.

Janet Bolarinwa emerged the second prize winner for the essay “Assessing the Human Impact of Illicit Financial Flows of Africa.” She receives a $3,000 prize money for her achievement.

Both authors will receive the Amartya Sen Essay Prize and prize monies at the conference “Improving Domestic Resource Mobilization and Stemming Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs): Enhancing Institutionalised International Cooperation and local capacity for DRM”; 12-15 March 2019, Hekima Jesuit University College Peace Institute, Nairobi, Kenya.

Illicit financial flows are generally defined as cross-border movements of funds that are illegally earned, transferred, or used. Examples are funds earned through illegal trafficking in persons, drugs or weapons; funds illegally transferred through mispriced exchanges (e.g.,among affiliates of a multinational corporation seeking to shift profits to reduce taxes); and funds used to bribe foreign officials. Because many African countries have large natural resource sectors and often strained administrative capacities, illicit financial flows out of African countries tend to be substantial relative to their GDP or overall trade.

And because massive and severe poverty persists in these countries, their people can ill afford such losses of capital and tax revenues.

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