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Namibia in greylisting crosshairs

2023-04-21  Maihapa Ndjavera

Namibia in greylisting crosshairs

A country that is greylisted is an indication the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international watchdog, has identified strategic deficiencies in
applicable systems to counter financial crimes. 

Greylisting means a country is under increased monitoring due to a lack of policies and procedures to deal with anti-money laundering (AML), combatting the financing of terrorism (CFT), and proliferation financing (CPF) framework.

Bank of Namibia governor Johannes !Gawaxab on Wednesday cautioned relevant Namibian entities to work together, as the listing is still preventable. He noted that greylisting is preventable if all the offices involved play their part. 

“Greylisting is not good for the country because it will impact trade, lead to the increased risk premium of Namibia, borrowing costs are going to increase, and cross-border transaction costs will increase and limit the country’s ability to do business effectively. It is detrimental to our capacity to attract foreign direct investment (FDI),” the governor emphasised.

FATF is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog. The inter-governmental body sets international standards which aim to prevent these
illegal activities and the harm they cause to society. As a policymaking body, the FATF works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.

!Gawaxab stated that Namibia, as a member of the United Nations, signed up to certain anti-money laundering and terrorism financing standards, and the country has been assessed and found wanting on five of the 11 outcomes. 

“That means that we need to amend 11 acts that are already in place, and come up with two new ones. We went to Cabinet already and told them that for Namibia to avoid greylisting, the
country needs to demonstrate the effectiveness of its anti-money laundering and terrorism financing legislation. 

Cabinet approved this in December 2022, and of the 13 laws we need to deal with, eight have already gone through the Cabinet committee on legal affairs, with still five outstanding. And all still need to go to Parliament,” the governor stated.

He added that by June 2023, Namibia needs to submit a report to FATF on whether the country meets the necessary requirements. This report will be assessed by September 2023. In February 2024, Namibia will know whether it is going to be greylisted. 

2023-04-21  Maihapa Ndjavera

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