A new report based on the Panama Papers reveals how Africa's politicians, generals and business leaders are systematically siphoning off billions of dollars and parking the money offshore.
The investigative report, "The Plunder Route to Panama", highlights how Africa's leaders are doing more than accepting bribes from foreign companies or evading tax. Rather, they are systematically setting up power structures run by favored friends or family members to steal billions of dollars and store the loot outside of their countries, the report finds.
This cuts budgets, hinders development and keeps people impoverished.
The investigation by a consortium of African journalists was inspired by the Panama Papers, a massive leak of documents of offshore accounts and companies that included the names of numerous African politicians. This new report attempts to follow the trail back to Africa to see where the money came from.
"We often point fingers at foreign multinationals that come to make a fortune here in Africa," Maxime Domegni, a Togo journalist involved in the investigation, told DW. "But this investigation shows the extent to which African oligarchs are complicit in plundering the continent."
Carried out by the African Investigative Publishing Collective, Africa Uncensored and Zam magazine, the report takes a detailed look at seven African countries: Togo, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi, South Africa and Botswana.