This briefing estimates the extent of trade mispricing, a form of commercial tax evasion, for five African countries and addresses the data challenges in gauging this component of illicit financial flows (IFFs). This is an estimation of illegal or hidden activities, using the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Direction of Trade (DOTS) methodology. The research points to declining trade mispricing in South Africa and Zambia for the period 2013–2015 and in Nigeria for the period 2013–2014. Morocco and Egypt exhibit increasing trade mispricing from 2013–2014. These flows mean reduced revenues to the fiscus to invest in socio-economic infrastructure and pro-poor growth strategies, which would benefit women and the poor. Policy recommendations address trade mispricing and propose remedies for the data anomalies.
Author: Kathy Nicolaou-Manias