Fighting Money Laundering Receives Major Boost As GIABA Mobilizes Young People Against ML/TF In Sierra Leone
The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) will organize the 7th Edition of its Open House Forum at the Miatta Conference Centre in Freetown, Republic of Sierra Leone, on 25 July 2013. The objective of this event is to mobilize youths against organized crime by targeting their attitudes, behaviors and beliefs. The 2013 Edition will also provide an opportunity for youths to embark on advocacy by helping to disseminate AML/CFT messages among their peers and political decision-makers, thereby becoming important policy advocates.
The Open House Forum is designed to provide GIABA with a platform to sensitize and involve the youths as part of concerted efforts aimed at combating organized crime, which has become a major threat to development and security in the West Africa region. Protecting the youths and guaranteeing them a future in an economically prosperous region have become the priorities of ECOWAS in the wake of regional integration. Thus, developing the capacity of the youth and empowering them for future leadership would require concerted efforts at both national and individual levels. It is important that youths are therefore educated and sensitized on the essence of combating organized crime in all its forms and ramifications.
In its efforts to involve all stakeholders in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism in West Africa, GIABA has been organizing Open Houses for youths since 2007. The outcomes of the previous editions corroborate the conclusions of the report of the evaluation of GIABA's 2007-2009 Strategic Plan, which revealed the huge capacity gap among the various strata in the society on AML/CFT issues. In the subsequent 2011-2014 Strategic Plan, GIABA therefore acknowledged the need to improve the sensitization of youths in member States in order to enhance their understanding of AML/CFT issues, thereby positioning them as champions of good governance.
Carefully selected, the one hundred and fifty youths from different sectors, are expected to attend the 7th Edition on the theme 'Mobilizing Youths against Organized Crime'. The target audiences of the Open House Forum are youths from Universities and Institutions of higher learning, sports and cultural associations, political parties and religious associations. Other secondary beneficiaries will include representatives of civil society organizations and professional associations, banks, insurance companies, media houses, the Diplomatic Corps, etc.
At the end of the event in Freetown, it is expected that youths would form a well-organized and highly sensitized alliance on AML/CFT regimes; that the number of people particularly youths that have a thorough understanding of the consequences of AML/CFT would increase; that there would be more effective collaboration in AML/CFT; and that there would be better understanding of the repercussions of money laundering and terrorist financing.