Vice-President, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, has expressed concern about money laundering in the West Africa sub-region, and has urged the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) to brace itself to meet the challenges of the illicit activity.
He described the GIABA as a very important organisation in the fight against money laundering, which he said creates problems for the economy of nations. The Vice President assured of the support of the Government of Ghana, and President John Mahama, who is now the chair of the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS).
The Veep gave the assurance when a delegation from the GIABA, led by it Director General, Mr Adama Coulibaly, paid a courtesy call on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra.
The visit was to inform the Presidency of the next GIABA technical and ministerial meeting scheduled for May 4 – May 10 2014, in Niamey, Niger, and to seek the support of Ghana, as the current chair of the ECOWAS to support the meeting. Vice President Amissah-Arthur gave the assurance of Ghana support to the meeting, adding that, the Minister of Finance is ready to attend the meeting.
Mr Coulibaly commended the Vice President for the establishment of the Ghana Financial Intelligence Centre, when he was the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, and described Ghana as a country with robust principles which are examples for other nation.
The Niamey meeting is in line with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirement, stipulating that a FATF-style Regional Body (FSRB) should meet once or twice a year, at technical and ministerial levels.
The GIABA, founded on 10th December, 1999, was created as part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), with the mission to protect the banking and financial systems of member states from being penetrated by criminal proceeds.
It is to ensure harmonization and implement measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing help the member states to implement the recommendations of the FATF and relevant international conventions and resolutions, strengthen international cooperation between the member states, and assess the progress and the effectiveness of measures taken to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
Its organizational structure is made up of Special Committee of Ministers, Secretariat, Technical Commission and a Network of national representatives Its Member states are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cte dIvoire, Gambia, Ghana and Guinea.
Others are Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone and Togo.