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A global framework for a Youth and Gender dimension in the fight against financial crimes in West Africa
Dakar, 25 August 2017: Youth and gender dimensions of financial and cross-border crime in West Africa set to be the focus of a regional consultative meeting scheduled for 28 to 30 August 2017 in Accra Ghana.

The forum is an initiative of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), through its Gender Development Centre (EGDC) and Inter Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA).

It is a meeting of representatives of Member States’ Ministries of Finance, Gender affairs, Justice, Security affairs, Internal Affairs, Civil Society Organisations, and representatives of development partners, and ECOWAS institutions and agencies.

The West African stakeholders will convene to share knowledge, experiences and best practices in order to map out a global framework for mainstreaming gender and youth dimensions in the fight against financial crimes, including money laundering, terrorism financing and related crimes in the community.

The meeting will also provide a forum for sharing experiences and best practices on the issues of gender and the youth in policies, frameworks, and programmes aimed at fighting financial crimes and other related crimes; building a consensus-based approach for a more clear-cut outline of strategic and operational issues relating to gender and youth and mechanisms for combating the scourge.

Moreover, it will provide an opportunity to create the framework for a sustainable regional partnership on gender, youth and the fight against money laundering, terrorism financing in West Africa.

The meeting is organized following the recommendation of the 49th Ordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government, held on 4 June 2016, in Dakar Senegal, with respect to outlining a support framework for Member States that will create awareness and educate, a propaganda to dissuade citizens from radicalisation and violent extremism.

In effect, given the West African population’s high percentage of women and youth, 52% and 66% respectively, as well as their increased vulnerability and involvement in financial and cross-border crimes, GIABA and the EGDC have decided to synergize their efforts on mainstreaming gender and youth dimensions for an effective war against financial crimes and their ramifications.

The Accra meeting will include presentations on current issues regarding financial crimes and related problems, with particular emphasis on money laundering, terrorism financing, as well as the gender and youth dimension of the said phenomena.

The expected outcomes will be, among others: a regional action plan for gender and youth dimensions of the fight against cross-border financial crimes in West Africa; the creation of a strategy for sustainable regional partnership on gender, youth and the fight against cross-border financial crime in West Africa.

Too, a network will be established of agencies involved in combatting financial crimes, money laundering, and terrorism financing with a gender outlook.

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