Panel discussion: "On the trail of capital flight from Africa"

Past Event

04 May 2022, 5:00pm - 6:30pm

Event Recording:

Angola, Cote d'Ivoire, and South Africa are countries that have witnessed large-scale illicit financial outflows in recent decades.

But what are the 'who', 'how', and 'where' dimensions of the phenomenon? The quantitative, qualitative, and institutional analysis for each country is being used to examine the modus operandi of capital flight and the major domestic and foreign players (the who); the mechanisms of capital acquisition, transfer, and concealment (the how); and the destinations of capital flight and the transactions involved (the where).

Join our panel as they discuss how addressing the problem of capital flight and related issues such as trade misinvoicing, money laundering, tax evasion, and theft of public assets by political and economic elites will require national and global efforts with a high level of coordination.


  • James K. Boyce, senior fellow at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Professor Léonce Ndikumana, Distinguished Professor of Economics and Director of the African Development Policy Program at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Nicholas Shaxson, author, journalist and investigator
  • Professor Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, Director, Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance (Chair)

This talk is in conjunction with the Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance

James Boyce

James K. Boyce
Senior Fellow, University of Massachusetts Amherst

James K. Boyce is an author, economist, and emeritus professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he is also a senior fellow at the Political Economy Research Institute.

Jim grew up in Michigan. He received his B.A. at Yale University and doctorate from Oxford University. He has written for Harper’s, Scientific American, Politico, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and numerous scholarly journals, including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ecological Economics, Environmental Research Letters, and Climatic Change. He is the recipient of the 2017 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought and the 2011 Fair Sharing of the Common Heritage Award from Project Censored and the Media Freedom Foundation.

Professor Léonce Ndikumana

Professor Léonce Ndikumana
Director, African Development Policy Program, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Léonce Ndikumana is Director of the African Development Policy Program and Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Political Economy Research Institute. He is also a member of the United Nations Committee on Development Policy and the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation.

He has served as Director of Operational Policies and Director of Research at the African Development Bank, Chief of Macroeconomic Analysis at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and visiting Professor at the University of Cape Town. He is also an Honorary Professor of economics at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

He has contributed to various areas of research and policy analysis on African countries, including the issues of external debt and capital flight, financial markets and growth, macroeconomic policies for growth and employment, and the economics of conflict and civil wars in Africa. He is co-editor of Capital Flight from Africa: Causes, Effects and Policy Issues and co-author of Africa’s Odious Debts: How Foreign Loans and Capital Flight Bled a Continent, published also in French as La Dette Odieuse d’Afrique : Comment l’endettement et la fuite des capitaux ont saigné un continent.

Nicholas Shaxson2

Nicholas Shaxson
writer, journalist and investigator

Nicholas Shaxson is a British writer, journalist and investigator. He is author of the 2007 book Poisoned Wells: The Dirty Politics of African Oil, and, following completion of Treasure Islands in 2010, a journalist and part-time writer and researcher for the Tax Justice Network, an expert-led group focused on tax and tax havens. In 2012 the International Tax Review named him as one of its “Global Tax 50” most influential people in international tax.

Since 1993 he has written extensively on global business and politics for the Financial Times, Vanity Fair, the Economist and its sister publication the Economist Intelligence Unit, Reuters, International Affairs, Foreign Affairs, the American Interest, the BBC, Africa Confidential, African Energy, and many others.

Ricardo Soares De Oliveira

Professor Ricardo Soares de Oliveira
Director, Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance

Ricardo Soares de Oliveira is Professor of the International Politics of Africa at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, Official Fellow of St Peter's College, and a Fellow with the Global Public Policy Institute, Berlin.

His research interests include African politics (particularly West and Central Africa), the geopolitics of energy and international political economy, especially in the fields of natural resource extraction, state decay and post-conflict reconstruction.