The Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) has begun a three – day training for journalists in investigative reporting on economic and financial crimes in Monrovia.
The training which began on 26 November is expected to continue until the 28 of the month, bringing together journalists from all over West Africa.
Speaking at the opening, Acting Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism Daniel Gayedyu expressed gratitude to GIABA for selecting Liberia from among ECOWAS countries to host the regional workshop for training of journalists in investigative reporting on economic and financial crimes.
He says the selection is most appropriate at a time the government under the leadership of President George Manneh Weah has given journalists more latitude to work freely by decriminalizing speech offenses.
Gayedyu adds that since 2005 when GIABA became fully operational, it has made considerable progress through the cohesion of regional anti – money laundering cooperation, provision of technical assistance to member countries and the training of different actors in several sectors relevant to the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
He stresses that it is important for participants to optimize the knowledge from the ongoing training for the three days because the governments of their various countries also count on them to fight against money laundering.
Also speaking, the Director General of GIABA Justice Kimelabalou ABA says the Institution was established in response to the nefarious effects of money laundering on the Member States’ economies and to demonstrate its commitment to the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
As a specialized institution, he says GIABA assists its Member States by providing mainly technical assistance, as he explains that the workshop is a demonstration of the institution’s firm determination to pursue and strengthen its alliance with media actors in adopting collective measures against crimes of all kinds threatening the Member States.
He adds that the aim of this workshop is to train competent and experienced journalists with a view to improving their understanding of AML/CFT issues, to enhance journalists’ investigative technical capabilities by equipping them with practical tools for the production of quality articles and report on money laundering and terrorist financing cases.
For his part, the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Edwin W. Harris thanks GIABA for selecting Liberia to host this important training that is geared towards enhancing and sharpening the skills and tenacity of journalists within the region to be more knowledgeable of the tendencies of economic and financial crimes.
He says the three days training will mark a turning point in the media landscape considering the immense exposure about ML/TF which each of the participants is expected to acquire.
He notes that it is his ardent hope that skills and knowledge gained from this training will be used in a way that will benefit the respective countries and the region at large.By Bridgett Milton
–Edited by Winston W. Parley