Addis Ababa, 08 June 2015 (ECA) - The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) hosted a two day Stakeholder Workshop on the Implementation of the Recommendations of the High Level Panel Report on Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) from Africa from 4-5 June 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The workshop which was organized by the Capacity Development Division (CDD) of the ECA was held following the adoption of the report and the adoption of the Special Declaration on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) by the African Heads of States at the 24th African Union (AU) Summit in January 2015. The meeting brought together stakeholders from the African Union, several United Nations agencies, Development Partners, Parliamentarians, and several Civil Society Agencies among others.
In his opening remarks, the Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist of the ECA, Mr. Abdalla Hamdok recalled the early beginnings of the panel and its work on IFFs, stating that the Panel was lucky to have Former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki lead it and added that “The panel went deep into the study on IFFs finding out its impacts, magnitude, and its solutions”. Alluding to the Special Declaration passed by the AU Heads of States, he stated that it was a critical step towards demonstrating the concern shared by African governments about illicit financial flows.
Chairing the workshop was Mr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, Director of CDD, who stated that the implementation of the recommendations of the HLP report was a vital step going forward as the ECA and all other stakeholders in the fight against IFFs. He went on to say that “in line with the declaration, an annual progress report must be presented to the African Heads of States regularly and as such, this stakeholder workshop is a necessary foundation for the work ahead”. Finalizing his opening remarks, Mr. Dipeolu expressed his hope that at the end of the workshop, the working groups would deliver adequate reports which have tangible activities which can begin in earnest.
Dr. Khabele Matlosa, Director of the Department of Political Affairs at the AUC also gave his opening remarks. He detailed the work which the AUC was embarking on regarding the reduction of IFFs, saying that the political will exhibited by the Heads of States was crucial to the success of all the work being done to curb IFFs.
During the workshop, the stakeholders discussed using the implementation work plan developed by the ECA and delivered actionable activities which were aimed at effectively achieving the desired results based on the recommendations of the High Level Panel Report. The various working groups presented their work with all stakeholders unanimously agreeing on their responsibilities in the work on deterring, preventing, detecting and recovering illicit outflows from the continent.
In closing the workshop, the Director of CDD, Mr. Adeyemi Dipeolu said that the idea of the workshop was to create collaboration and coherence and prevent duplication among stakeholders in the work on IFFs continentally and ultimately provide a way to keep track of what is being done and report to the Heads of States. He added that “this workshop is about Africa, stopping IFFs and achieving Africa’s development goals”.
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