FBOs need sustained advocacy against corruption and money laundering

Accra- Religious leaders from different Faith Based Organisations (FBOs), have recommended the need for continued advocacy against corruption and the utilisation of methods beyond worship, with emphasis on hard work and service.

They also called for the need to undertake more frequent sensitisation and awareness programmes for FBOs, and identify and train youth ambassadors, in partnership with State institutions and civil society organisations, for them to become front-line actors in the fight against radicalisation and violent extremism.

The recommendations were included in a Communique issued by the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), at the end of a two-day national sensitisation seminar in Accra on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), for religious leaders from different FBOs across the country.

The participants, based on the discussions and observations held at the seminar, suggested the need for youth education in their respective congregations, based on appropriate religious messages and teachings that emphasised behavioural practices that promoted Godliness and abstinence from crimes, especially money laundering and its predicate offences.

They called for the creation of a network and coalition of religious leaders and actors from the West Africa region for the prevention, countering and responding to threats of money laundering, terrorism financing, hostility and violent extremism.

They said there was the need to support civil society and inter-faith dialogue groups, in particular those with initiatives aimed at monitoring, preventing and countering incitement, as well as at proposing inter-faith activities such as sport and cultural events.

They again asked that laws be enacted, to combat unexplained wealth and money as a means to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.

An attached News statement by GIABA, said the objective of the seminar was to raise the awareness level of religious leaders on their role in the fight against Money Laundering (ML) and Terrorist Financing (TF).

It was also expected to help in building strong partnership with FBOs on actionable points to curb violent extremism and promote peaceful co-existence in the society.

It indicated that it was obvious that faith based organisations appealed to people on emotional levels and gave voice to a wide range of community concerns, therefore using persuasion as a strategy, religious leaders needed to understand what specific contribution they could, and have to make to overcome the menace of ML and TF, and in transforming public understanding, attitudes and behaviour.

A total of 40 participants, consisting of religious leaders from different FBOs across the country, attended the seminar, which was deemed by GIABA as important in view of the valuable contribution of the groups as guardians of faith and the tremendous sway their institutions held amongst their followers.

Source: Ghana News Agency