WINDHOEK – Namibia and Zimbabwe have been recognised as the only two African countries that have established a legal regulatory framework for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, by the inter-governmental body Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The recognition by FATF means that Namibia is no longer part of the international targeted review process of countries with shortcomings in their national anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism regulatory environments.
The FATF is currently closely monitoring 11 countries, including Angola, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Sudan and Yemen, on how they are implementing laws and regulations for anti-money laundering and combating of financing of terrorism.
Uganda has been singled out for not making sufficient progress to set up anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism regulations. “Despite Uganda’s high-level political commitment to work with the FATF, to address its strategic deficiencies, the FATF is not yet satisfied that Uganda has made sufficient progress in improving its [anti-money laundering] regime, and certain strategic deficiencies remain,” the FATF said.
The FATF position follows the plenary meeting on February 26 2015 in Paris, France, which, upon recommendation by its International Cooperation Review Group, unanimously agreed that Namibia has effectively and efficiently executed all her agreed actions.
Yesterday the Bank of Namibia’s Director for the Department of Strategic Communications and Financial Sector, Ndangi Katoma, said Namibia is the “first African nation and one of only few jurisdictions in the world which successfully conducted a national money laundering and terrorism financing risk and threat assessment in 2012.”
“This assessment enabled Namibia to develop laws, policies and cause resource allocations to address and mitigate high risk money laundering and terrorism financing areas. This further assists the country to protect its economy and citizens from the impact of financial criminal activities,” he said.
The FATF plenary meeting complimented Namibia for adopting national anti-money laundering, combatting the financing of terrorism and combatting proliferation financing policy, laws and implementation frameworks.
“This adoption not only effectively assists Namibia to protect her national and international financial system against … abuse, but also places the country on an accelerated pace to comply with both technical and effectiveness criteria endorsed in the FATF 2012 recommendations,” he said.
“Criminalization of proliferation and the financing thereof also put Namibia amongst the first countries in the world which effectively contribute to international peace, democracy, security and stability in this regard,” Katoma added.
Katoma says it is important for Namibia to ensure that “we do not allow financial crimes such as money laundering, corruption, terrorist financing and illegal drug trade to destroy our social fabric and put the future of our children in jeopardy.”
“In doing this, Namibia recognises the importance of international cooperation in the fight against these financial crimes.”