Africa is rich in diamond and gold exports, and rife with opportunities for money laundering. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently launched a project to fight the laundering and the funneling of money from these industries in to terrorism. The IMF seeks to help 16 of Africa’s countries keep their gold and diamond trade industries pure of abuse.
“In the last few years, a number of reports have raised concerns about the existence of links between the trade in precious minerals and illicit financial flows, corruption, drug trafficking, arms smuggling and the financing of terrorism,” said the IMF.
Africa produces $19 billion in gold per year and $6 billion in diamonds. The IMF indicated that an unknown amount of these exports are utilized for illegal purposes.
The anti-laundering and terrorism project offers technical assistance and workshops to counter bureaucratic weaknesses. In the first phase of the program, countries will gather together to learn of ways they can integrate blocks to crime in their internal infrastructure. The second phase will bring anti-money-laundering programs and tools to fight the financing of terrorism to the countries with the help of IMF professionals.
Program officials expect these initiatives to improve the fiscal outlook of the industries and their overall success.
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