West Africa IFF Academy Training in Accra-Ghana

START: 10-Apr-2023
END: 14-Apr-2023
START: 8:10 AM
CLOSE: 5:00 PM
7th April, 2023

ISODEC IFFs Academy training in Accra-Ghana

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) are delighted to invite applications from government agencies involved in battling illicit financial flows in Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, campaigners and academics who would like to attend our five-day practical Illicit Financial Flows(IFFs) Measurement training course in Accra-Ghana.

The dates for the Accra training will be: Monday 10th April, 2023 –Friday 14th April 2023

The deadline for applications is 30th March, 2023 at 17 h00 BST

You do not need to have a financial background to apply but we consider it important when selecting candidates to see evidence of your IFFS mandate, data analysis and or advocacy experience. Class instructions will take place in only English without provision for translation.


Over five days, you will gain practical skills on how to analysis import and export data for evidence of over-invoicing and or under-invoicing.   We will show you where to find data and documents, how to analyse them and other practical tools to help uncover trade mis-pricing using the UNCTAD recommended methods and approaches.

A combination of hands-on training and guidance from senior practitioners will give you the basis to analyse import and export customs data as well as offering the opportunity to network with other country’s government agencies and activists.

The course aims to help participants understand:

1.       The meaning and definition of Illicit Financial Flows;

2.       The limited and wider definition of Illicit Financial Flows;

3.       The six UNCTAD recommended methods for measuring IFFs at country level in accordance to the UN SDG 16.4.1.

4.       The data required for measuring IFFs

5.       The channels of transmission of IFFs at country level

6.       How to measure IFFs from import and export trade using customs data

7.       How to conduct institutional/data mapping of your country

8.       How to conduct IFFs Risks Assessment of your country

9.       How to produce a road map for further work on IFFs in your country and what support you can expect from the ISODEC IFFs Academy and partners.

Who Should Attend?

Government agencies relevant for the tackling of IFFs in Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, especially central banks, Ministries of Finance, Tax authorities, Customs, Financial Intelligence Centre(FICs), Parliamentary committees on public accounts, anti-corruption and Anti-IFFs, National Statistical Offices;

CSOs-NGOs involved in IFFs research/advocacy, budgets and public finance, think-tanks and media in each of the four countries;

Academics hoping to provide consultancy on IFFs or add it to their teaching curriculum in their business schools or department of economics;

All Technical Working Group members of countries undergoing the UNCTAD/UNECAS support pilot to measure IFFs are encouraged to attend the virtual one from their countries if they are unable to attend in person.

How will the Training be delivered?

This five-day training will be a mix method of face-to-face and virtual.  A limited number of participants will attend the face-to-face training at their own expense (Air tickets, hotel boarding and lodging).  All other approved participants will join the training virtually using Microsoft Teams platform.

Each person attending whether in person or virtually is required to:

1.       Have their own internet connected device (laptop, PC, tablet) with adequate data and good bandwidth;

2.       Have their own country data or join someone who has the data

3.       Be present throughout the training in order to gain the full benefits of the training as there will be a follow-up to the country level to carry out actual trade mispricing computation using real country data in accordance with the SDG 16.4.1

4.       Devote the five days to working 3 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening after lunch

5.       Commit to following through with this exercise at the country level until their country has produced draft IFFs inflows and outflows in accordance with the SDGs 16.4.1 to enable their country to report to the UN

Who will Facilitate this Training?

The IFFs Academy has a team of experienced experts with hands-on experience in the analysis of country data using the two methods, Partner Country and Price Filter Methods for international trade (import and export) data analysis.  Please go to for details and profiles of all resource persons. 

For this training, two trainers Dr Ama Asantewah and Bishop Akolgo will be present throughout the session on-site while others from UNCTAD/UNECA will join us virtually.

Dr Ama Asantewah holds a PhD in Economics, Lectures in the University of Ghana-Legon and has been involved in the Curbing IFFs project that brings together the University of Ghana, government agencies and others in Civil Society Institutes to research and publish on IFFs on Ghana, Laos and other countries. So far Ama and her team have analysed IFFs in Ghana’s Gold, Coca and petroleum.  Ama is also a member of Ghana Technical Working Group that is leading Ghana’s efforts to measure IFFs in commercial and tax from the period 2000 to 2021.

Ama has been involved in a number of IFFs workshops and events including:

         “Abnormal Pricing in International Commodity Trading: Methodology” GSS/UNCTAD - UNECA Workshop on Measurement of IFFs – Ghana. Accra. 7th – 11th March 2022,

         “Curbing Commodity Trade-Related Illicit Financial Flows: Policy Options for Ghana” Multi-stakeholder Workshop. Accra, 25th January 2022,  “Abnormal Pricing in International Commodity Trading: Evidence from Ghana”, “UNECA Workshop on IFFs for Ghana, Senegal, and Burkina Faso. Accra, 28th September 2021 and 21st October 2021, “Commodity Trade-related Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs): Evidence of Abnormal Pricing in Commodity Exports from Ghana”, “Conference on the Study of African Economies, Economic Development in Africa Workshop, Addis Ababa

         University, 12 – 15 December 2019”, “Curbing Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Resource-rich Developing Countries”, “Plenary Workshop at the Graduate Institute of International and Development

         Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, 12 – 17 February 2019”.


Ama has co-published a research paper on IFFs: Ahene-Codjoe, A. A., and Alu, A. (2019), Commodity Trade-related Illicit Financial Flows: Evidence of Abnormal Pricing in Commodity Exports from Ghana. Working Paper No. R4D-IFF-WP03-2019.  Work on petroleum is currently undergoing peer review toward publication.


Bishop Akolgo holds an MSc. in International Development, and an MSc. in Economics and has just completed his Doctoral studies.  He is the UNCTAD national consultant on IFFs providing technical support to the government of Ghana through the Ghana Statistical Service to measure IFFs in accordance with the SDG 16.4.1.  Before that Bishop designed and implemented the Consortium of Ghana government, UNDP-Ghana, Trust-Africa initiative to measure IFFs in Ghana’s trade with the EU and USA for the period 2000 and 2012 when he was the Executive Director ISODEC.  He has also designed the Ghana IFFs pilot under the UNCTAD/UNECA which has carried out two training programmes so far. 

He has also provided technical assistance to other African Technical Working Groups on IFFs.  Bishop has been involved in ISODEC’s macroeconomic modeling work since 2000 including the design of input-output models for Ghana, SADA area and the Western Region, national Distributional Effects of policies model for Ghana and a multiplier model for Ghana and SADA area.  He has since been working with ActiveViam on Python-based computer models for using the six UNCTAD/UNECA methods for measuring IFFs.  Two of these models (Partner Country and Price Filter) have already been tested with the Ghana Technical Working Group on the measurement of IFFs.  These models will be introduced at this training workshop and used for the training and subsequent work on the estimation of IFFs at the country level using country data.


To apply, please fill in Click this link to fill out the form. Please complete the country IFFs Risk and data mapping of your country as attached.

The deadline for your application is Monday 30 March 2023 at 08h00 BST. We aim to inform successful participants by Thursday 5th  April 2023.

The training has two parts:

1.       First part is an intro to IFFs for the benefit of newcomers from Ghana and Nigeria and Liberia/Sierra Leone:

a.       Recap country skills gap study-Government agencies and CSOs

b.       Country reporting requirements under SDG 16.4.1

c.       Definition of IFFs and key concepts

d.       Country Risks Assessment

e.       Institutional mapping

f.        Data mapping

g.       Technical Working Group-membership and functions


2.       Part two:

a.       Country vulnerability, intensity and exposure to IFFs

b.       Selecting methods for estimating IFFs

c.       Mapping country data and required methods

d.       Practical exercises using real but anonymized Country Trade data applying PCM and PFMs

e.       Hands-on-country-by-country using their own data to practice

f.        Mapping next steps-country-by-country

3.       Etc.

TIMETABLE (Subject to minor alteration)

Day One: Monday 10 April 2023

08:15-09:00         Introductions of the ISODEC IFFs Academy and Faculty

9.00-9:30             Introduction of participants and trainers for the sessions

09:30-12:30        An introduction to help you understand the roots and history of IFFs, its scale, the techniques used to avoid, evade and launder, and policy responses and relevant institutions.

12:30-13:30        Lunch

13:30-18:0           Understanding IFFs situation and extent

§  Country Risks Assessment

§  Institutional mapping

§  Data mapping

§  Technical Working Group membership and functions

      • Bringing it all together and close for the day

Day Two: Tuesday 11 April 2023

9:00-10:15          Country vulnerability, intensity and exposure to IFFs-country-by-country


10:15 to 12:30    The UNCTAD/UNECA recommended six methods for measuring IFFs

 Selecting methods for estimating IFFs

12:30-13.30        Lunch

13.30-14:30        Mapping country data and required methods


14:30-16:00        Practical exercises using real but anonymized Country Trade data applying PCM and       PFMs:



16:15- 17:15       Preparing for practice dividing up into country teams

Day Three: Wednesday 12 April 2023

09:15-10:30         Hands-on applying the Partner country method-preparing the data


10:45 – 12:00     Analysing exports

12:00 – 13:00     Analysing imports

13:00 – 13:45     Lunch

13:45 – 15:00     Continue hands-on


15:15 – 16:00     Continue.

16:00 – 17:00     Recap day and homework

Day Four: Thursday 13 April 2023 – Continue hands-on

8:00-10:00           Analysis of exports using Price Filter method

10:00-10:30         Break

10.30-12.00        Analysis of imports using Price Filter method

12:00-1:00           Lunch

1:00-14:00           Bringing it all together

14:00-17:00         Building a consensus in the room around fundamental concepts, definition, multi-stakeholder and app-of-government approach to tackling IFFs:

·         Which key institutions must be on the table because they have mandate, data and analysis capacity on IFFs?

·         What sectors are most vulnerable to IFFs?

·         What is being done now and how do we do better?

·         How do we ensure an all-of-government approach to tackling IFFs in our countries?

Day Five: Friday, 14 April 2023 – Road Map for further work country-by-country


         Take stock of the country’s situation in light of the training

         Revisit the Institutional mapping and identify clear institutional and practice gaps


         Identify gaps in current knowledge/skills and suggestions for filling them

         Agree time schedule for further work per country.

Suggested reading:

This training is being delivered by ISODEC’s IFFs Academy with Funding support from the Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA)