The Head of Joy News investigative desk, Manasseh Azure Awuni, has joined a network of investigative journalists in West Africa for a training programme to track money laundering in the sub-region.
The three-day training, which took place in Dakar, Senegal was dubbed: “Turning up the Pressure: Tackling Money Laundering through multi-stakeholder approaches in West Africa.”
The training was organized by Transparency International (TI) and had some national chapters of TI, including the Ghana Integrity Initiative in attendance.
The investigative journalists were taken through advanced internet tools that aid their work. They were also exposed to some data sources, where hundreds of thousands of helpful data could be obtained for their work in money laundering, illicit financial flows and corruption in general.
“One significant part of the training was the networking,” Manasseh Azure Awuni told myjoyonline.com. “Participants have formed a network of investigative journalist and this will enhance cross-border investigations in the West African sub-region.”
The programme also discussed how the national chapters of Transparency International could enhance the work of investigative journalists in the countries.
According to Manasseh, such collaborations are necessary because investigative journalists have limitations in how far they could go with a story. He said sometimes the civil society groups are needed to take up the advocacy and demand action when journalists expose the rot. This, he said, allowed the journalists to move on and focus on other stories.
He revealed that the Ghana Integrity Initiative, the Ghana Chapter of Transparency International, was already working with some selected journalists under its, Accountable Democratic Institutions and Systems Strengthening (ADISS). ADISS is jointly implemented by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition and Send Ghana.
The programmes coordinator for Transparency International, Jessica Ebrard, said transparency international would continue to work with the investigative journalists and support them in their investigative projects.