AFRICA’S GREATEST CHALLENGE
Across Africa, the scale, scope and sophistication of financial and economic crimes (FECs) are all increasing at an alarming rate. They pose the single greatest threat to the continent’s future prosperity and stability.
Opinions differ as to how best to tackle the problem. However, a consistent, pervasive challenge is the acute shortage of appropriate skills and expertise – of all types, in all roles, at all levels and across the public, private and third sectors.
FEC training programmes are not producing even a fraction of the number of qualified personnel that is required.
And that is just today. There is no provision to generate such skills on the scale that will be needed in the years ahead, particularly since the region's population is expected to double over the next decades.
The problem can no longer be left solely to elite law enforcement units. Isolated pockets of expertise are no match for the advancing tide of greed. A much broader effort is needed.
Numbers are only part of the problem. Most FEC training programmes are also deeply inadequate in numerous other respects. Many are of little practical value, and some are even counter-productive.
RISING TO THE CHALLENGE
The current approach to anti-FEC training has been compared to cutting a lawn with nail scissors. By the time one blade of grass is cut, two more have grown.
What is needed is a business model for FEC training that can develop a range of skills on an unprecedented scale, at all levels of government, business and the third sector.
The only feasible, cost-effective way to do so is with a hub-and-spoke approach, by introducing FEC components to the training/professional development programmes of established local institutions.
To that end, the Academy works closely with national parliaments, judiciaries, prosecutors, police, customs and revenue authorities, public service commissions, specialist government agencies and regulators, as well as leading banking, insurance and business groups, the professions and the third sector.
It also liaises closely with relevant global organisations, such as Interpol, to ensure optimal international coordination.
Yet even that may not be enough. Since measures to counter FECs need to be both all-embracing and trans-national in scope, the Academy also –
develops training syllabi and methods that cater for local contexts and needs
facilitates greater collaboration between relevant local and foreign institutions
stimulates academic and professional research on issues of practical importance
assists local public-sector training bodies to access international funding
ensures that trainers are themselves properly trained and certified
provides an international platform for local experts whose credentials might otherwise never be acknowledged.