Sierra Leone FBC Student wins 3rd Regional Universities Speech on Money Laundering

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    Eku Williams, a Final Honors 2 Law Student of Fourah Bay College (FBC)

    By Abibatu Kamara – 9th August 2019

    Eku Williams, a Final Honors 2 Law Student of Fourah Bay College (FBC), has emerged winner at the 3rd edition of the Inter-Universities Speech Contest on Anti-Money Laundering/Counter –Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT) Impacts on West African Economies.

    This year’s edition, focuses on the theme: “Fighting Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in West Africa: What Next?”

    The speech contest was held at the University of Nigeria, Enugu, on August 6, 2019 and attracted students from Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Liberia and Gambia.

    As part of its efforts aimed at ensuring the implementation of effective AML/CFT regimes in its member States, the Intergovernmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) has identified youths as an important segment in the fight against money laundering and corruption. This is because evidence abounds that the youths are highly vulnerable to the risk of money laundering and other related crimes.

    In the past 10 years, GIABA has creatively engaged the youths and students in the region through a series of awareness and sensitization programs, such as Open House Forums, and Sensitization Campaigns, amongst others. In 2013, GIABA held its maiden Inter-University Speech Contest among undergraduates from the University Community.

    The objective of this event was to serve as a platform for promoting knowledge of AML/CFT regimes and exchange of ideas on topical issues by directing the enormous power of human knowledge as a transformative force for the development of member States. It will thus be an avenue to mobilize youths against organized crime by providing them with opportunities to research, write and speak on different areas of AML/CFT in West Africa, thus providing an opportunity for youths to embark on advocacy by helping to disseminate AML/CFT messages to their peers and political decision-makers.

    Through youth-focused programs such as the Speech Contest, GIABA ensures that its technical and strategic reports and other products, such as research, evaluation and other reports, are adequately disseminated and used by relevant stakeholders, including youths, to keep them well informed and elicit desirable responses from them as necessary.

    A high point of the event was the Keynote Address by the Director General of GIABA, Justice Kimelabalou Aba entitled ‘Consolidating the AML/CFT Framework in West Africa’ aimed at showcasing the mandate, operations and achievements of GIABA in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in the region.

    The Speech Contest will feature discussions on money laundering, terrorism financing, economic and financial crimes, organized crime, proliferation of small and light weapons, among others, and the efforts and strategies aimed at combating them.

    At the end of the event in Enugu, youths formed a well-organized and highly sensitized alliance on AML/CFT regimes; that the number of people, particularly youths that have a thorough understanding of the consequences of AML/CFT, would increase; that there would be more effective collaboration in AML/CFT; and that there would be increased interest in research into topics on AML/CFT.

    In his victory speech, Eku Williams thanked Lecturers at FBC for helping him put materials together to participate in the speech contest.

    “I am humbled and happy to raise the flag of Sierra Leone high at the contest amidst other Universities in the sub –region”, he stated.

    Williams further thanked GIABA for a wonderful and flawless arrangement of the contest which attracted over 300 students and educators from different universities in Nigeria.

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