Combatting Africa’s Growing Human Trafficking Crisis – The Role of Banking and Fintechs

20 Mar 22 | Published by Ruth Magona

Human Trafficking is one of the most despicable predicate crimes impacting Africa today. It preys on our young; the youth who are our continent’s future. It also inevitably victimises the poorest and most desperate of our people.

We have all seen the pictures and read the stories of young African migrants finding themselves tricked by fake offers lucrative job opportunities in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Or worst still drowning in the Mediterranean having been forced on to flimsy rubber boats after paying thousands of US dollars to criminal people smugglers.

Like other financial crimes, laundering their illicit proceeds is essential to their business model. The Banking and Payments Services (Fintechs) sectors are crucial to the fight against Human Trafficking by preventing money laundering.

In this webinar, we hope to provide our audience with deep insights into how the human trafficking business model works, and in particular the how their illicit funds flow.

Through our excellent panel of subject-matter experts, we hope to provide Fin Crime – AML risk and compliance colleagues with the knowledge needed to help them design and fine-tuning their platforms and processes to identify and prevent these criminals from leveraging our financial systems.


Dr Ibrahim Stevens – Deputy Governor, Bank of Sierra Leone

Dr. Ibrahim Stevens was appointed as Deputy Governor in July 2014 and reappointed to a second five-year term in 2019. He is the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, responsible for Monetary Stability. Prior to his appointment at the Bank of Sierra Leone, he was Country Programme Director at the International Growth Centre (IGC), London School of Economics. Before joining the IGC, he was Macroeconomic Adviser to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Rwanda, and Head of Project for the German International Cooperation (GIZ)-funded project on Macroeconomic Advice to Rwanda. His work has been published in several international academic journals, including the Economic Journal, International Journal of Central Banking, and the Journal of Financial Stability, among others. Dr Stevens is an experienced central banker (both as an executive and technical/operational staff) and a macro/financial economist but for him, his most important job is being a parent to his three young children who keep him busy and challenge him on the science of everything!

Mr Sydney Asubo – Executive Director, Financial Intelligence Authority, Uganda

Sydney Asubo is presently the Executive Director of the Financial Intelligence Authority, effective 1st September,2015. He is the pioneer Chief Executive Officer of the Authority. His past immediate position was that of Director of Legal Affairs at the Inspectorate of Government which is the main anti-corruption agency in the Republic of Uganda. He has previously worked as a Senior State Attorney in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions in Uganda. He has extensive experience in both prosecuting serious crime and in Criminal Justice Policy work. He has represented Uganda in many international criminal justice fields, particularly financial crime-especially corruption, anti-money laundering, and combating terrorism financing. He is a task force member in the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group. He held the Chairmanship of the Task Force of senior officials of the Group, which brings together 19 member countries during Uganda’s Presidency of the organisation for the year 2020/21.

Mr Sheku Bangura, Director, Advocacy Network Against Irregular Migration (ANAIMS)

Sheku Bangura is the Director of Founder and Executive Director Advocacy Network Against Irregular Migration (ANAIM) ANAIM was formed in 2017 as an organization that informs and educates other young Sierra Leoneans of the risks of irregular migration, from which many have suffered, and help to support returnees by assisting with their reintegration into society. Some of the objectives of ANAIMS includes: • Development and social reintegration of returned migrants/Refugees, victims of Trafficking and in persons focusing on the most vulnerable groups: women, children, and youths. • Providing psychosocial support for migrants who have gone through prison, tortured and advocate for reintegration support for them • Advocating and providing support for migrants who were raped in Middle East countries and returned with pregnancies and gave birth to fatherless babies • Strengthen women, children, and youths to overcome their anniversary days • Works to guarantee the protection of victims of trafficking and returned migrants, and with others around social awareness raising campaigns on human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and irregular migration.

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