Strong national coordination is the key to effectively combating money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (AML/CFT/P). To enhance this coordination, the Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) and the OCWAR-M project are cooperating to support States in the operationalization of essential structures: the Inter-Ministerial Committees (IMCs) or National Coordination Committees (NCCs). From October 31 to November 2, 2022, GIABA and OCWAR-M gathered member states in Saly for a regional workshop on the roles and responsibilities of these committees.
This workshop is in line with the FATF recommendations, which, as Mr. Edwin Harris Jr, GIABA’s Director General, recalled at the opening of the workshop, “require an authority to have a clear understanding of the ML/TF/P risks for policy direction“. However, according to Mr. Harris, “it is without doubt that the NCCs as established in the member States are not fully playing their role of coordinating all AML/CFT&P measures.”
To address these shortcomings, GIABA and OCWAR-M brought together more than 80 participants – GIABA National Correspondents, NCC Chairs and members, including three Deputy Ministers, and members of the GIABA Secretariat – for three days to discuss the practices of West African NCCs.
These exchanges were based on a diagnosis carried out by the OCWAR-M project at the request of GIABA. Its objective was to analyze the existing structures in order to develop a typology and identify their strengths and weaknesses. It revealed that, while all GIABA member states and Mauritania have NCCs, their level of operationalization is uneven and that the effectiveness of all committees could be improved.
Participants worked in groups on the issues and challenges of national coordination. This work was the core of the workshop and allowed for rich exchanges. The discussion of the presentations in plenary led to the formulation of several recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the NCCs of GIABA member states. At the end of the workshop, GIABA, OCWAR-M and the participants agreed on a final communiqué, including the main conclusions and recommendations of these three days of work: click here to discover it.