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Workshop set for Nairobi as ECA and partners scale-up efforts to stem illicit financial flows from Africa

In its continuing efforts to stem illicit financial flows from Africa, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and its partners will next week host a validation workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, to, among other things, establish a clear work plan and deliverable actions for the core group and Consortium of Stakeholders working to confront the IFF challenge on the continent.

The validation workshop, which will run from 21-22 November, also seeks to review and endorse the draft terms of reference of the Consortium which will oversee the implementation of the anti-IFF Project Document and ultimately stem the growth of IFFs from Africa.

Participants will also review and endorse the Project Document that forms the basis of the anti-IFF project on the continent.

Acting Executive Secretary of the ECA, Mr. Abdalla Hamdok, says the meeting is important as it seeks to constitute the core group that will structure and propose working documents to the Consortium and ultimately find more ways to stem the growth of IFFs from Africa.

“It is imperative that we address the issue of illicit financial outflows from Africa,” said Mr. Hamdok, who is passionate about the issue and has worked on it for years now.

“We have to scale-up our efforts to ensure Africa does not continue to lose billions of dollars that could be funding its own growth and development.”

The ECA has been working hard since the endorsement of the High Level Panel Report on IFF from Africa by the African Union Heads of States at their 24th Summit in 2014 to implement its recommendations and in turn reduce IFF from the continent.

This began with the development of a work plan based on all the recommendations of the High Level Panel Report. The implementation work plan breaks down the recommendations into concrete and deliverable outputs with specific activities leading to their successful implementation.

Subsequent to this, the ECA worked to establish streamlined support to the anti-IFF agenda by creating a forum where all relevant stakeholders discussed how this work plan would be implemented and the roles and responsibilities each stakeholder would respectively undertake.

This was successfully achieved at the Stakeholder Workshop on the Implementation of the Recommendations of the High Level Panel Report on IFFs from Africa organized by the ECA in June 2015.

The coalition of Stakeholders was essentially the earliest form and foundation of what will eventually become the Consortium of Stakeholders working together to stem IFFs from Africa. Following the Stakeholder Workshop, the ECA worked to promote continued engagement at all levels in the implementation of the HLP recommendations while also providing the opportunity to strengthen the alliance against IFFs.

This led to the sub-regional workshops in September and November 2015 respectively, which were held in Nairobi, with participants from Eastern and Southern Africa, and in Accra, with participants from Central, Northern and Western Africa.

As part of their outcomes, both workshops identified the capacity development needs at national, sub-regional and continental levels for tackling IFFs and delivered useful knowledge on existing and imminent potential tools for the implementation of the High Level Panel recommendations to relevant stakeholders. The outcomes of the workshops also fed into the IFF implementation plan.

The workshops agreed on the need for the establishment of a Consortium of stakeholders to oversee the implementation of the anti-IFF Project Document to stem the growth of IFFs from Africa.

 The inaugural meeting of the Consortium to stem IFFs from Africa was held in June this year in Johannesburg, South Africa, to discuss the consortium’s operations and the planned activities relating to the implementation of the recommendations of the HLP.

The meeting provided a platform for Member States to share information, ongoing activities and best practices in their work to stem IFFs.

It was also at this meeting that several fundamental guidelines for the consortium be established hence the Nairobi workshop next week to validate and finalize both documents ahead of the Consortium’s next meeting.

The workshop will bring together representatives from the African Union Commission (AUC), the ECA, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, Open Society Foundation and others  forming the core group of the Consortium to stem IFF from Africa.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa ( UNECA ).
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