By RAY NALUYAGA Posted Friday, June 29 2012 at 11:59
Liberia takes the biscuit when it comes to stashing Africa’s cash away in Swiss banks.
The third poorest country in Africa and second in the world has $4.3 billion in Swiss banks, according to The Swiss National Bank (SNB), the central bank of Switzerland, in its latest report on the country’s banking sector.
According to SNB, 43 African countries held $16 billion in Switzerland, or 36 per cent of the total aid Africa received in the past 44 years.
Over the past four decades, aid to Africa quadrupled from around $11 billion to $44 billion, with a net increase of almost $10 billion during the period 2005-2008 alone.
The Seychelles follow with $2.6 billion. Unlike Liberia with income per capita estimated at $500, Seychelles is characterised as a middle income country with per capita income estimated at $8,700.
The second stasher is South Africa with $1.9 billion. The country is the richest in the continent, but it is the second biggest aid recipient.
Swiss banks have a reputation of secrecy and are, therefore, popular with owners of ill-gotten wealth and discreet investors who do not wish to disclose the origins of their money.
There is no evidence to indicate whether the money was acquired through legitimate or illegitimate means.
However, the banks have long been a favourite of Africa’s kleptocrats seeking a safe place for money they acquire while in power.