AfricaBreaking NewsBusinessInternational News

SADC Launches Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee to Strengthen Regional Security

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has taken a significant step in combating financial crimes and enhancing security within its member states by inaugurating its first Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT) Committee. 

This committee’s primary objective is to harmonize AML/CFT policies, laws, and regulatory practices across SADC Member States, ensuring alignment with international standards established by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The decision to establish the AML/CFT Committee was recommended by Ministers of Finance and Investment, highlighting the importance of coordinated action against money laundering and terrorism financing as outlined in Annex 12 of the Protocol on Finance and Investment.

During a three-day gathering in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 21st to 23rd February 2024, representatives from 13 Member States convened to elect Mr. Clement Kapalu, Director General of the Financial Intelligence Centre in Zambia, as the inaugural Chairperson of the SADC AML/CFT Committee. 

In his inaugural address, Mr. Kapalu emphasized the committee’s role in combating financial crimes and fostering regional development through coordination and cooperation.

Mrs. Debra Port-Louis, Deputy Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit in Seychelles, was elected as the Deputy Chairperson, emphasizing the collective commitment of Member States to enhance measures against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Both the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson will serve for a two-year term (2024–2026), with voting conducted based on a simple majority and a “one country, one vote” basis. The committee comprises senior officials from each Member State responsible for AML/CFT matters.

The SADC Secretariat, in collaboration with other relevant bodies such as the Committee of Central Bank Governors Secretariat, Committee of Insurance, Securities and Non-Banking Authorities Secretariat, and the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) Secretariat, will facilitate, coordinate, and perform secretariat functions for the SADC AML/CFT Committee.

The committee’s Terms of Reference and Work Plan for the next two years have been reviewed and approved, with support from the European Union-funded Support to Improving the Investment and Business Environment (SIBE) Programme. 

This program aims to assist Member States in developing AML/CFT strategies and action plans, addressing deficiencies in line with FATF guidelines.

Additional source: SADC Secretariat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *