Monday, August 6, 2012

W/African civil society capacitised to battle money laundering, financing terrorism

The Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) will be organizing a regional sensitization workshop for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on AML/CFT in the Senegalese capital of Dakar on 6 and 7 August 2012. 

A statement from the sub-regional agency says the objectives of the workshop are to sensitize civil society organizations on AML/CFT issues and related implications in the West African sub-region; to get members of the civil society actively committed to their role as champions against these twin scourges by spreading the message at grassroots level; to establish links and a solid network of CSOs engaged in the fight as a means of sharing experiences and knowledge within the sub-region; and finally, to build the capacity of CSOs and empower them to take ownership of the fight against ML/FT.

“The fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders geared towards the protection of the economies and financial systems of member States,” the statement says. “GIABA acknowledges the contribution of the civil society in mass mobilization and in the decision-making process.”

One of GIABA’s strategic objectives for the period spanning 2011-2014 is to promote strategic partnership with the private sector, the civil society and other key stakeholders in raising the awareness of the community as a means of empowering the citizenry and enabling them to take corrective measures.

The involvement of civil society organizations (CSOs) is therefore crucial in the fight against ML/FT. This fight would help raise public awareness, enhance effective and sustainable pressure in order to obtain the required change and highlight the efforts already deployed by GIABA.

While using the strategy of persuasion, it is imperative for CSOs to know the specific contribution they can and should make in order to surmount the threat of ML as well as the emergence of FT and enhance public understanding, attitudes and references.

In an environment where political leaders and decision-makers need to be sensitised and involved in the fight against ML/FT, the civil society would serve as the backbone for such advocacy and change.

The workshop is targeting civil society organizations in West Africa which are actively involved in the fight against corruption, collusion and bad governance. It will be facilitated by the GIABA Secretariat and other resource persons through presentations and interactive sessions.

It is expected, at the end of the workshop, that collaboration with civil society organizations would improve; awareness-raising on AML/CFT at grassroots level would be enhanced; and the understanding and capacity building of stakeholders in the AML/CFT battle would also be enhanced.


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