Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) Pays Courtesy Calls on Speaker of Parliament


The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye has challenged West African member states to establish and implement anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism regimes, implement laws against the proceeds of crime through mutual legal assistance and ensure the establishment and maintenance of Financial Intelligence Units.

He also admonished African leaders to adopt best acceptable international standards and practices against the money laundering and financial terrorism fight and organize mutual and self-evaluations to determine the efficacy of measures adopted to facilitate the adoption and implementation by member states of measures against the menace.

According to Speaker, West African governments can protect their national economies and financial and banking systems against the proceeds of crime and combat the financing of terrorism by ensuring harmonized and concerted adoption of appropriate measures to combat these crimes by taking into account their specific regional peculiarities and conditions.

The Speaker made these known on Wednesday 28th October 2020, when a delegation from the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), paid a courtesy call on him at the Speaker’s Conference Room in Parliament House.

With its Secretariat located in Dakar, Senegal. GIABA is a specialised institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) responsible for facilitating the adoption and implementation of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism in West Africa.

It is the regional financial action task force body working with its ECOWAS member states to ensure compliance with international anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism standards with a mission for facilitating the adoption and implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism in West Africa.

The institution was established on 10th December 1999 by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS and the main focus area at its inception was the protection of West African economies and financial systems against money laundering.

In January 2006, its Statutes were revised to reflect the growing link between money laundering and terrorist financing, following terrorist attacks on the United States of America on September 11, 2002, hence the incorporation of Counter- Financing of Terrorism into GIABA’s mandate.

GIABA member states include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Federal Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Dakar and Senegal.

The Director-General of GIABA Justice Kinelabalou Aba who led the delegation explained that one of the cardinal purposes of the visit was to express the institutions’ heartfelt congratulations to the Ghanaian President H.E. Nana Akufo Addo for his election as the Chairman of ECOWAS and |Ghana’s contribution to the sub-regional bod
He urged ECOWAS member states to give enthusiastic support to GIABA’s decisions and further urged the Speaker to bring on board Ghana’s expertise and experiences together to reflect on how best to overcome the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing to ensure effective enforcement of existing policy frameworks for eliminating them.