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Fourth Installment Of Illicit Finance Journalism Program Now Accepting Applications

Added 24 Jul 2014
Article written by Christian Freymeyer. New Media and Press Coordinator for the Financial Transparency Coalition

Illicit financial flows affect countries all over the world. Unfortunately, developing countries seem to suffer the greatest due to illicit outflows. Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, loses roughly 5.7% of its overall Gross Domestic Product every year to illicit flows, according to research from FTC member Global Financial Integrity.

Along with advocating for strong policy changes, it’s important that a robust and informed press investigates cases of tax evasion, corruption, and harmful tax practices that rob governments of much needed revenue.

The Illicit Finance Journalism Program (IFJP), a project spearheaded by the Tax Justice Network, the Centre for Investigative Journalism, and partly funded by the FTC, works to create strong ties between journalists covering these issues throughout the world by bringing journalists, researchers, and campaigners together in London for a four-day training course.

The course offers a grounding in the history and scale of the offshore world, as well as equipping journalists and campaigners with accountancy skills and the tools to investigate tax abuse. The IFJP is overseen by some of the finest investigators in the world and runs twice a year.

Past participants have gone on to investigate and trace illicit flows in their own countries and report on them in the media. Since the program began in March 2013, over 60 journalists, researchers, and campaigners have participated.

Below is a small selection of stories produced by IFJP participants:

Europe’s crackdown on shell firms puts spotlight on Africa by Jeff Mbanga in the Uganda Observer
• Osama Diab writes on US facilitation of tax avoidance in Egypt’s Mada Masr, an online publication
• Joseph Olanyo explores why African growth fails to bridge the inequality gap in the Uganda Observer
• Argentine journalist Tomas Lukin produced a multi-part investigation into alleged money laundering (in Spanish)

The next four-day course beings on November 4. To see the full details of the course, and how to apply, click here.