Annual Reports






I wish to extend warm greetings and profound appreciation to everyone for working with GIABA during the year 2023. The journey we embarked on together in 2023 brought us all closer, with reassuring outcomes which have solidified our bond under the common interest of protecting our national economies from clandestine crimes and contributing to the global fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing. The year under review witnessed some attendant challenges, which in turn provided opportunities that propelled us to make remarkable progress. During the year 2023, the encountered setbacks strengthened our resolve and served as the springboard for the successes recorded for the year.  Therefore, the outcomes for the year are an attestation to our collective expression that our region will no longer tolerate any form of financial crime that undermines its economies.


GIABA implemented programmes primarily focused on the development of effective AML/CFT&PF regimes in our member States and redefining the shape of the precepts that served as the fulcrum for supporting the works of GIABA. In the course, we stepped up our collaboration with other regional institutions as well as development partners in providing support to our member States. Also, the year witnessed a remarkable improvement in the level of technical understanding by our member States of the FATF Standards, which is the barometer for measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the many activities we implement for the region.


Following GIABA’s insistence and perseverance, a remarkable achievement in 2023 was an increase in the use of outcomes of typologies by member States to help them to understand the prevalent predicate crimes that have the proclivity for undermining the economic sectors and derailing development in their countries. As part of its effort to assist member States in building resilient AML/CFT systems, GIABA has over the period unveiled many trends and methods through typologies and researche works that facilitated the provision of reasonable technical assistance to member States. GIABA recognizes this as a continuing process, and therefore calls on stakeholders to remain committed and to develop strategies for addressing both the existing and the very dynamic emerging  ML/TF/PF risks.


In recounting the achievements of GIABA here in this 2023 Annual Report, it will be remiss of me if I do not highlight the splendid success of GIABA’s exit from the FATF Effectiveness Improvement Programme (EIP). This programme enabled GIABA to improve its operational efficiency and effectiveness as a FATF Styled Regional Body (FSRB) within the agreed timelines. As a direct result of the EIP, GIABA introduced new programme activities that fully address the challenges it faced, and more profoundly, increased its advocacy efforts designed to sustain the positive gains achieved. In consideration of the EIP, GIABA successfully completed the mutual evaluation of all 15 ECOWAS member States, and will, in 2024, conclude the mutual evaluation of the Comoros Islands with the adoption of the MER and undertake the onsite visit to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, respectively.


In pursuance of its mandate and commitment to remain the regional leader in AML/CFT efforts, GIABA sustained and enjoyed an excellent relationship with the ECOWAS Community Institutions and all ECOWAS member States. The ever-warm reception from the ECOWAS Commission regarding the constant calls from GIABA is a testament of the commitment of the hierarchy of the Commission to succeed under the 4X4 Strategic Plan where good governance is paramount under the excellent leadership of Dr. Omar Alieu Touray. This is one giant step that allowed GIABA to attain the stellar performance in 2023. While maintaining existing relationships, GIABA hopes to undertake greater engagements with the ECOWAS Commission in the coming years.


The synergy among all the directorates of GIABA in the coordination and delivery of planned programming activities was a major driving factor that supported the uncommon successes recorded in the year. The excellent teamwork of the internal structures of GIABA is one of its core values that promotes excellence and actualisation of its mandate, and we are poised to sustain this work ethics for greater performance in the coming years.


I wish to express my appreciation to our dedicated staff, who were everywhere across the region to deliver the needed and impactful technical assistance to member States consisting of training activities, support on the FATF ICRG process and high-level advocacy to political leaders for strengthening their AML/CFT/PF regimes.


Closing the year, GIABA maintained the environment of diversity and fostered the development of every staff member. The atmospheres of cultural sensitivity and the accommodation of staff welfare and professional development were paramount. These actions serve as our affirmation that staff remain the foremost and indispensable resource to the GIABA secretariat.


Before I conclude, allow me to thank our regional citizens for the trust reposed in our works to provide the environment in which our economies are protected from unlawful activities, with the end attracting investment and economic development for the betterment of our citizens.


As a specialized ECOWAS Institution, GIABA will remain focused on its engagement with member States and together we will contribute to the global fight against transnational organized crimes. GIABA remains committed and has no intention to surrender any one economy in the region for the fostering of predicate crimes. We end the year with the assurance to our Community that GIABA stands prepared to serve its mandate where humanity can thrive and succeed.


For and on behalf of GIABA, I encourage you to continue your reading of this 2023 Annual Report, and look forward to engaging with you in 2024.



Edwin W. Harris,  Jr

Director-General, GIABA