Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Barry B. Hughes, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Ilene Grabel

Third Advisor

Douglas Allen


Africa, Illicit, Illicit financial flows, Natural resources, Trade, Transfer pricing


An increase in the number of multinational enterprises (MNEs) has increased the attention on cross-border challenges, such as transfer price manipulation (TPM). TPM is a development issue - it undermines institutions as well as siphons money from government revenues that could be directed towards programs for human development. Pervasive corruption in the natural resource sector supports an environment where TPM can flourish. This paper develops a strategy for combating TPM within the countries of the Southern African Customs Union. It does this by 1) defining the terrain of illicit flows, both generally and specifically to the abuse of transfer pricing through TPM, as well as the nature of corruption in the natural resources sector; 2) exploring the role of private actors by examining global trends in transfer pricing, as well generalizing trends by public actors from recent actions taken by governments of developing countries; 3) exploring the extent of MNE involvement in the natural resources sector within the SACU region, as well as the specific legislation surrounding the sector; and lastly, 4) developing a strategy based on international norms and standards. A fully accurate assessment of TPM is unavailable because of a limited amount of data. Through proxy analysis, this paper finds that the transfer pricing and mineral legislation of the SACU region fails to regulate TPM adequately. Developing a coordinated strategy based off international standards, with the SACU institution and its members as the primary drivers, is the best step towards limiting the abuse.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Patrick Grant McLennan

File size

109 p.

File format





International relations, Economics, African studies