La urgente necesidad de capitales en el África subsahariana

La sobrecogedora pobreza y las condiciones de vida del África subsahariana han sido expuestas una y otra vez a través de la televisión y la Internet. Pero estas terribles imágenes representan meramente los síntomas de un mal subyacente (y, en gran medida, no publicitado): la fuga de capitales.

Este fenómeno tiene un sinnúmero de causas: el pago de la deuda, la obtención por parte de firmas extranjeras de casi todos los contratos financiados por organismos de crédito multilaterales (y la exención de impuestos y derechos sobre tales bienes y servicios), los términos de comercio desfavorables, la especulación, la transferencia gratuita de beneficios, las reservas en moneda extranjera guardadas en cuentas en el exterior, y los capitales privados locales que se dirigen hacia otros países. De acuerdo con la Organización de Desarrollo Industrial de la ONU (UNIDO), cada dólar que entra a la región genera un flujo saliente de $1,06.

La mayor parte de esta hemorragia es impulsada por la deuda: aproximadamente 80 centavos de cada dólar que ingresa a la región como parte de préstamos extranjeros sale de la misma antes de pasado un año. Esto implica una complicidad activa entre los acreedores (los países de la OCDE y sus instituciones financieras, especialmente el FMI y el Banco Mundial) y los prestatarios (los gobiernos africanos). La fuga de capitales da a los acreedores los recursos que necesitan para financiar préstamos adicionales a los países de donde tales recursos se originaron en primer lugar, un esquema de créditos condicionados a la compra de insumos de los mismos ("round-tipping") o créditos con garantías de otros créditos ("back-to-back").

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