Navigating International Trends in Anti-Money Laundering

Karischa Schmidt

In today’s globalised economy, the fight against money laundering remains a priority worldwide.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a leading international organisation, has long championed this cause by issuing comprehensive recommendations aimed at strengthening cross-border anti-money laundering (AML) efforts.

For countries like Namibia, situated in the southern African region, adherence to these recommendations is not merely a matter of compliance, but essential for safeguarding financial systems against illicit financial activities.

Established in 1989, the FATF has been instrumental in setting standards and promoting the effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

Its recommendations provide a stringent framework for countries to bolster their Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) systems.

They emphasise measures such as customer due diligence, reporting suspicious transactions, and enhancing international cooperation.

Namibia, as a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group, has actively worked towards aligning its AML/CFT framework with the international standards set by FATF.


Over the years, we have made significant strides in our endeavours to meet these standards and requirements.

Legislation such as the Financial Intelligence Act has been enacted, establishing institutions like the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) to serve as the focal point for receiving, analysing and disseminating financial intelligence.

However, challenges persist.

Namibia, like many developing countries, faces capacity constraints and resource limitations in combating evolving methods of illicit finance.

Furthermore, the emergence of new technologies, such as cryptocurrencies, poses additional complexities that demand innovative regulatory responses.

As a Namibian, I believe that while progress has been made, there’s still work to be done.

Our country’s commitment to combating money laundering and terrorist financing should not waver.

More than that, it should not just be about ticking boxes to meet international standards.

At the end of the day, it’s about protecting our economy, our citizens and our reputation on the global stage.


To address these challenges, Namibia needs a comprehensive plan.

Legislative and regulatory frameworks must be strengthened to align with the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force.
Institutional capacity building is also crucial.

This includes developing specialised AML/CFT units within relevant government agencies, as well as partnerships with international organisations for technical assistance.

At the same time, risk assessment and mitigation strategies are vital in terms of prioritising efforts and resources effectively.

Enhanced financial intelligence- and information-sharing mechanisms, coupled with technological innovation and regulation, will bolster Namibia’s defences against financial crime.

Finally, active engagement in international cooperation initiatives will facilitate an exchange of knowledge and collaboration with regional and global partners.

In navigating international trends in AML/CFT, Namibia must remain proactive and collaborative.

In implementing a comprehensive plan that addresses legislative, institutional, technological and international cooperation aspects, Namibia can strengthen its AML/CFT framework and contribute to a safer and more secure global financial system.

Through sustained efforts, Namibia can be a beacon of integrity in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

We should all be invested in building a future where financial crime has nowhere to hide in our nation.

  • * Karischa Schmidt is a compliance officer.

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