|Cross section of participants at the 7th edition of the GIABA Open House Forum in Freetown, Sierra Leone in 2013 (Photo Credit: GIABA)|
The 9th Edition of its Open House Forum to be held in Banjul, The Gambia on July 26, 2016 “will target the attitudes, behaviours and beliefs” of the youths.
It will also “provide an opportunity for youths to embark on advocacy by helping to disseminate anti- Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) messages to their peers and political decision-makers, thereby becoming important policy advocates.”
More than 100 youths are expected to attend the forum in Banjul on the theme “The Role of Youths in Combating Transnational Organized Crime.”
They will be drawn from universities and institutions of higher learning, sports and cultural associations, youth groups and religious associations.
Representatives of civil society organisations and associations, banks, insurance companies, media houses, and the diplomatic corps will also be involved.
The organiser, GIABA, said organised crime, has become a major threat to development and security in the region.
“Protecting the youths and guaranteeing them a future in an economically prosperous region have become priorities for ECOWAS in the wake of regional integration,” it said in a July 15 pre-event statement.
According to the Dakar-based anti-ML/TF agency, developing the capacity of the youth and empowering them for future leadership would require concerted efforts at both national and individual levels.
It said these youths therefore need to be educated and sensitized to the essence of combating organized crime in all its forms and ramifications.
GIABA has been organising open house fora for youths since 2007 in order to involve all stakeholders in the fight against ML/TF in West Africa.
It said the outcomes of the previous editions revealed a huge gap, in terms of capacity, among the various strata in the society on issues relating to AML and CFT.
It has also noted there is a need to improve on capacity building for youths in member States to enhance their understanding of AML and CFT regimes
This will position them as “champions of good governance”, the agency said. The forum is expected to culminate in the youths constituting a well-organized and highly sensitized alliance against ML and TF.
It is also expected that the number of people, particularly youths, that have a thorough understanding of the consequences of ML and TF would increase and that there would be more effective collaboration in AML/CFT efforts, GIABA said.
GIABA is a specialized institution of ECOWAS and a Financial Action Task Force–Styled Regional Body (FSRB) responsible for combating the scourge of money laundering and terrorist financing in the sub-regional economic bloc.
It was established by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS in 2000 with the mandate to protect the national economies and the financial systems of member States from abuse and the laundering of the proceeds of crimes.
Written by Modou S. Joof
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