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Is Africa a Net Creditor? New Estimates of Capital Flight from Severely Indebted Sub-Saharan African Countries, 1970-1996

  • Léonce Ndikumana
  • James Boyce

This paper presents estimates of capital flight from 25 low-income sub-Saharan African countries in the period 1970 to 1996. Capital flight totaled more than $193 billion (in 1996 dollars); with imputed interest earnings, the accumulated stock of flight capital amounts to $285 billion. The combined external debt of these countries stood at $178 billion in 1996. Taking capital flight as a measure of private external assets, and calculating net external assets as private external assets minus public external debts, sub-Saharan Africa thus appears to be a net creditor vis-à-vis the rest of the world.

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Paper provided by Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst in its series Working Papers with number wp5.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:uma:periwp:wp5
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  1. Simeon Inidayo Ajayi, 1997. "An Analysis of External Debt and Capital Flight in the Severely Indebted Low Income Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 97/68, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Boyce, James K., 1992. "The revolving door? External debt and capital flight: A Philippine case study," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 335-349, March.
  3. Lensink, Robert & Hermes, Niels & Murinde, Victor, 1998. "The Effect of Financial Liberalization on Capital Flight in African Economies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(7), pages 1349-1368, July.
  4. B.W. Smit & B.A. Mocke, 1991. "Capital Flight from South Africa: Magnitude and Causes," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 59(2), pages 60-77, 06.
  5. Ajayi, S.I., 1995. "Capital Flight and External Debt in Nigeria," Papers 35, African Economic Research Consortium.
  6. Claessens, Stijn & Naude, David, 1993. "Recent estimates of capital flight," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1186, The World Bank.
  7. Pastor, Manuel Jr., 1990. "Capital flight from Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-18, January.
  8. Ndikumana, Leonce, 2000. "Financial Determinants of Domestic Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Panel Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 381-400, February.
  9. Ajayi, S. Ibi, 1992. "An economic analysis of capital flight from Nigeria," Policy Research Working Paper Series 993, The World Bank.
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