The West Africa IFF Academy is a research and training institute hosted by the Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC). The IFF Academy will begin rollout of courses and programmes to targeted stakeholders from the second half of 2022. The Institute will undertake, promote and facilitate relevant national-level research, with emphasis on the West African region, and provides both onsite and online training on illicit financial flows to civil society organisations and government agencies alike.
The Institutes work is inspired by the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows adopted by the African Union Commission (AUC). Among other recommendations, the report called for investment in research to study the potential methodologies and reforms needed to facilitate taxation of multinational corporations and reduce IFFs and to provide the necessary capacity building to the relevant institutions at the forefront of combatting IFFs. It also urged African governments to recognize the vital role of civil society organizations and to give them the operational space and legal freedoms required for advocacy, activism and research in the effort to curb IFFs.
The urgency that recommendations show is explained by the fact that many West African countries are dependent on natural resource extraction and agricultural commodities for exports. Their economies are by nature therefore highly exposed to IFFs through trade. The policies these countries are also heavily geared towards attracting foreign direct investments (FDI) and portfolio capital through their stock markets, making their economies vulnerable to IFFs through these channels. Meanwhile, banking regulation and tracking of financial flows through the banking system is weak in many of the countries heightening exposure to money laundering through the banking system. Widespread public sector corruption or collusion with multinational companies exacerbate these risks. However, although many governments may have a general idea of these risks, knowledge of how these actually occur and how to mitigate them is limited, as reflected by limited country-level information on IFFs.
Working with the existing institutional architecture at the center for IFFs such as revenue authorities, anti-corruption bodies, Financial Intelligence Units, anti-fraud organisations; regulatory institutions and civil society organisations the Academy seeks to close these knowledge gaps. The resouces of the Academy are also available to progressive private accounting, tax organisations and the media among others who are considered the principal audience, partners and beneficiaries of the Academy’s research and training activities.
• CSOs within the WEST African Sub-region
• Government Agencies within the West African Subregion
• Citizens/People of West Africa
For enquiries and more information about the Academy, contact us through;
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 030225 4918/21
ISODEC is grateful to Open Society West Africa (OSIWA) for supporting the actualisation of the Academy.