The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) is West Africa's regional body against money laundering, terrorist financing, and Proliferation Financing (ML/TF/PF).

GIABA was formally established as a specialized institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS in December, 2000.

Charged with the responsibility to strengthen its member States' capacity to prevent and control money laundering and terrorist financing in the region, GIABA draws its membership from the fifteen (15) West African States. There are two non-ECOWAS countries that are members of GIABA, they are the Island of Comoros and Sao Tome and Principe.

Observer Status in GIABA

GIABA also grants Observer Status to African and non-African States and Inter-Governmental Organizations that support its objectives and actions and has applied for observer status. Organizations eligible for observer status within GIABA include the Central Banks of member States, regional Securities and Exchange Commissions, West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the West African Development Bank, the French Zone Anti-Money Laundering Liaison Committee (Conseil Régional de l'Epargne Public et des Marchés Financiers), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations /UNCTED, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), FATF Style Regional Bodies, and some direct members of the FATF. Others are: Interpol, the World Customs Organisation, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the European Union, the Egmont Group. 

Dates and Timeline

December 1999 – Authority of Head of State and Government of ECOWAS adopted a protocol relating to the proliferation and illegal circulation of light weapons, transborder crimes, particularly drug trafficking, and money laundering. It made decisions relating to the control of money laundering in the region.

December 2000 – Statutes of GIABA were approved by the Authority of Heads of State ad Government of ECOWAS, thereby paving the way for the operation of GIABA

July 2001 – The Government of Senegal offered to host GIABA. Hence, the inauguration of a  small office in Dakar.

2004 – A more functional Secretariat was established.

2005 – An Administrative Secretary and a Deputy were appointed to head the Institution. These positions were later designated as Director-General and Deputy Director-General.

12 January 2006 – The Statutes of GIABA were revised to incorporate and reflect the mandate as envisaged by the FATF Standards.

March 2006 – ECOWAS and the Government of Senegal signed a Headquarters Agreement which granted GIABA and its professional staff diplomatic immunity.

June 2006 – There was the consolidation of GIABA's primary roles and the Institution's recognition as a FATF-Style Regional Body (FSRB). This recognition gave GIABA the legitimacy and credibility to undertake AML activities with the Member States.

June 2010 – GIABA became an Associate Member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)