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47TH TASK FORCE OF SENIOR OFFICIALS MEETINGS APRIL-2024.

ESAAMLG successfully convened its 47th Task Force of Senior Officials Meetings in the picturesque city of Lubango- Angola, from April 5th to 12th 2024.

The meeting, held partly in a hybrid format, welcomed over 400 delegates from 21 ESAAMLG Member Countries, alongside representatives from Cooperating and Supporting Nations and Organizations.

The meeting served as a crucial platform for deliberating on significant matters relating to anti-money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism and proliferation (AML/CFT/CPF) efforts in the Region. Key discussions revolved around various reports, including the 2nd Round Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) of the Republic of Rwanda, Follow up Reports (FURs) with rerating requests of Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, Seychelles and Zimbabwe and Follow Up Reports without re-ratings of 10 member countries (Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia).

It is expected that the MER of Rwanda and the FURs with rerating requests will be published on the ESAAMLG website soon adhering to the organization’s Procedures for Second Round Mutual Evaluation and Follow up Processes.

The ESAAMLG also received updates from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on the progress of specific countries in the ICRG process within the Region, signifying their commitment to strengthen their AML/CFT measures. One of the significant achievements recognized during the meeting was Uganda's successful exit from the FATF's International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) process, demonstrating commendable progress in enhancing its AML/CFT/CPF framework.
Additionally, Kenya and Namibia were acknowledged for entering the ICRG process. South Sudan, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Kenya and Namibia will continue working with the FATF and ESAAMLG to strengthen their AML/CFT efforts.

Part of the plenary meeting also included considering Reports of the Risk, Trends and Methods Group (RTMG), the Technical Assistance and Training Coordination Forum, the Heads of FIUs Meeting and FIU Forum, Working Group on Risk, Compliance and Financial Inclusion, the Budget, Finance and Audit Committee as well as the closed session of the joint ESAAMLG Heads of Delegations and Steering Committee.

A crucial part of the meeting involved the adoption of several key documents including the “ESAAMLG Manual for FIUs on Producing Quality Financial Intelligence”, “ESAAMLG Report and Toolkit Developed on Best Practices and Lessons to Successfully Exit the FATF ICRG Process”, and “The ESAAMLG Survey on the Opportunities and Challenges Posed by Fintech Products, In Particular, Virtual Assets and their Resultant Effect on Financial Integrity”.

Furthermore, new projects aimed at enhancing AML/CFT efforts, including to conduct “A Horizontal Review on the Implementation of the FATF Recommendation 8 in the ESAAMLG Region”, typologies study on “Illicit Cross Border Cash Movements in the ESAAMLG Region”, and the ESAAMLG Strategic Analysis Project on “Use of Front Companies for ML in the ESAAMLG Region” were also discussed and adopted during the meeting.

Convened twice a year, the ESAAMLG Task Force meetings are designed to facilitate discussions among delegates from Member States and observers on a number of issues in relation to AML/CFT matters. The Task Force Meeting provided a conducive platform for technical experts from ESAAMLG member states and observer organizations to deliberate on the progress and challenges faced in combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.

Participants engaged in productive discussions and exchanged valuable insights on best practices, capacity building, and strategies to enhance the effectiveness of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures within the region.

As the ESAAMLG continues its commitment to strengthening the Region's AML/CFT/CPF systems, the outcomes of the 47th Task Force meeting underscore the collective efforts and dedication towards achieving greater financial integrity and security within Eastern and Southern Africa. ESAAMLG expresses gratitude to the Angolan Government for successfully hosting the Task Force Working Group and Plenary meetings.

For more information and updates, please visit the ESAAMLG website (https://www.esaamlg.org).