By Halimah Olamide
The African Development Bank (AfDB), has inaugurated the African Financial Integrity and Accountability Support Project (AFIAP) to improve coordinated responses to illicit financial flows in African countries.
A statement issued by the Bank on Friday in Abuja, said that the three-year support project would help stakeholders engage actively in stemming illicit financial flows and improve domestic revenue mobilisation in Africa.
According to the statement, AfDB is handling the 5.9 million dollars project in partnership with the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA).
The statement said the project which took place at the African Union (AU) headquarters, aims to improve regional coordination on accountability of public finances for optimal revenue mobilisation and management in African countries.
“It will support the coordinated implementation of recommendations of the high-level panel on illicit financial flows and the implementation of joint strategies and initiatives related to international taxation,’’ it said.
It said the grant would support CoDA’s role as the secretariat of AU High-Level Panel (HLP) on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) and Joint Secretariat of the Consortium to stem IFFs from Africa.
“The support will foster a coherent African response to illicit flows, in line with the AU Assembly Special Declaration on IFFs passed in January, 2015.
“It will also advance Africa’s continent-wide asset recovery agenda encapsulated in the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR) adopted in February 2020.
“This will be carried out by CoDA, the AU Commission Departments of Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals and Political Affairs.
“It will also be carried out by the Peace and Security Department, in collaboration with other national, regional and global actors,’’ it said.
The statement said that the project targeted selected AfDB member countries, with emphasis on public sector capacities in low-income countries to reinforce resilience via training, policy research and advocacy activities.
The Bank’s Deputy Director-General for Eastern Africa Regional and Business Delivery Office, Abdul Kamara expressed satisfaction with the project.
Kamara said that the project was in line with the mandate to ensure that policies and practices were mobilised in addressing financial crime, tax avoidance and money laundering.
“In addition to combating illicit financial flows, this project will contribute to promoting greater efficiency in public financial management in order to boost revenue mobilisation and management,” Kamara said.
On his part, the Executive Director of CoDA/HLP Secretariat, Souad Aden-Osman commended AfDB for the financial support.
According to him, we are eager to work with the bank in ensuring Phase II of the implementation of the Panel’s recommendations is well underway.
“This collaboration with the AfDB is highly useful in this regard.
“On behalf of its Board of Directors and the HLP on IFFs from Africa, CoDA is thankful to the president, management and board of the AfDB for their continued support,’’ Aden-Osman said.