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GIABA trains West African accountants on AML/CFT requirements in Banjul

By TheNigerianVoice-TNV
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The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) will organize a regional training on anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements for accountants from the five English-speaking countries in West Africa. The workshop will hold from 11 to 12 September, 2013 in Banjul, The Gambia.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) revised standards place obligations on accounting professionals to adopt and implement anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures, including risk assessment and application of the Risk-Based Approach to AML/CFT implementation, Customer identification/Customer Due Diligence, record keeping and reporting of suspicious transactions. The main objective of the programme is to enhance the capacity of accountants on the revised FATF Recommendations to enable them fulfill their obligations.

In 2012, the GIABA Secretariat held a sensitization programme in Dakar, Senegal, for Accountants from Francophone member States. The initiative was a first step in sensitizing Accountants and Auditors on their roles in strengthening their countries' AML/CFT regimes. A major resolution at that programme was that GIABA should sustain efforts to create awareness among the Association of Accountants and urge member States to direct professional bodies to create self-regulatory bodies within relevant sectors to further drive AML/CFT compliance. The current programme is therefore, designed for Accountants from the Anglophone member States and is part of GIABA's commitment to sensitize and support accountants from benefiting member States to effectively implement robust AML/CFT measures.

Participants for the programme will be drawn from The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The training will be delivered by technical experts from the region and GIABA Secretariat through plenary discussions and experience sharing. Highlights of the opening ceremony include the addresses by the Director General of GIABA, Dr. Abdullahi Shehu, and the Minister of Finance and Economy of The Gambia, Hon. Amadou Colley.

It is expected that at the end of the training, there will be improved compliance by accountants in the implementation of AML/CFT measures, especially enhanced quality and quantity of suspicious transaction reports (STRs) from members of the accounting profession to the FIUs, and that there would be better cooperation between accountants and regulatory/supervisory bodies.