Nairobi’s dirty money

Economic growth and the rise of the middle class tarnished by illicit cash.

Nairobi bustles with high-class bars, glitzy hotels and top-end homes. The middle class is growing quickly and Kenya’s government plans to turn Nairobi into an international financial centre by 2025 — part of its goal to pull East Africa’s largest economy into the ranks of newly industrialised nations by 2030.

But the rising economy is tarnished by a steady slow of dark money. As allAfrica reports:

“New data calculated for Thomson Reuters Foundation by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington-based financial watchdog, show the amount of illicit money entering Kenya from faulty trade invoicing, crime, corruption and shady business activities has increased more than five-fold in a decade to equal roughly 8 percent of Kenya’s economy – and in recent years the pace of dirty money inflows has been accelerating.

Development groups and international policymakers are particularly concerned about this trend because the Kenyan government – despite long-standing problems with money laundering, drugs, corruption and terrorism in bordering states – is moving ahead with plans to strike a deal with the City of London to build Nairobi into a major international financial hub.”

Read the full story at AllAfrica.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

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