Namibia on course to avoid financial blacklisting

Iipumbu Shiimi
Iipumbu Shiimi

Finance and public enterprises minister Iipumbu Shiimi says Namibia has made progress to avoid being greylisted by passing four new laws and amending nine existing laws.

Shiimi says Namibia underwent a comprehensive evaluation by the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, resulting in the adoption of the Namibia Mutual Evaluation Report in September 2022.

“Due to Namibia’s financial sector exceeding US$5 billion, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) conducted a 12-month review.”

He says Namibia addressed 72 key recommendations of the evaluation report by passing four new laws and amending nine existing ones by August 2023, and submitting a progress report to the FATF ICRG late in 2023.

“Preliminary indications reveal that Namibia passed the technical compliance test and made progress on five out of the 11 immediate outcomes on the effectiveness test. Notably, 59 out of 72 action items were successfully addressed, with only 13 remaining,” he says.

Shiimi, however, says due to the remaining action items, Namibia may be placed on a list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring.

“This will, however, only be confirmed once the FATF ICRG joint group meeting, which will take place in the next few days, is concluded. The FATF ICRG will collaborate with Namibia to finalise an action plan focusing on these remaining items,” he says.

“Strengthening legal and regulatory frameworks is crucial, not only for combating financial crimes, but also for bolstering national development initiatives.”

Economist Salomo Hei says to understand the economic implications of being greylisted, the conditions should be understood.

“It appears we have met the majority of the conditions. Only 13 have not been met in terms of the actions the initial action task team imposed on Namibia.

“So, perhaps Namibia has demonstrated commitment in terms of meeting those outstanding ones, and subsequently there may be no need for any new economic measures against the country,” he says.

The FATF is a global intergovernmental body that promotes policies and sets international standards relating to the combating of money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

As noted by the FATF in its statement on 24 February 2023: “Jurisdictions under increased monitoring are actively working with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing for weapons of mass destruction.

“When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to swiftly resolving the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed time frames and is subject to increased monitoring.”

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