National Risk Assessment on money laundering, terrorism financing underway


In a bid to strengthen the nation’s anti-money laundering (AML), countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) and proliferation financing (PF) regime, the Financial Intelligence Center (FIC) has launched the 2nd National Risk Assessment (NRA) on Money Laundering and Terrorism Destruction.

The assessment aims to identify and evaluate risks associated with money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation, providing critical insights to guide policy decisions and resource allocation.

Kwaku Dua, Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Intelligence Centre and GIABA National Correspondent for Ghana, emphasised the significance of understanding the country’s ML/TF risks, stating: “One of the cornerstones of a mutual evaluation exercise is for the country to demonstrate understanding of their ML/TF risks”.

He highlighted that the NRA is a crucial step as Ghana prepares for the Third Round of Mutual Evaluation, scheduled to commence in 2025.

The results of the national risk assessment are anticipated to inform policy-makers of areas requiring tightening within the existing AML/CFT regime. Mr. Dua stressed the importance of continuous efforts to strengthen the country’s regime and mitigate identified risks effectively.

Reflecting on Ghana’s past assessments, he noted: “In 2016, we went through the second round of mutual evaluation, and due to deficiencies identified in our AML/CFT regime, we were placed on the FATF grey list”. However, through collaborative efforts, Ghana successfully exited the grey list, emphasising the country’s commitment to maintaining a positive image in the sub-region concerning AML/CFT.

The urgency of the new National Risk Assessment stems from the impending Third Round of Mutual Evaluation, starting in 2025. Mr. Muazu Umaru, Director of Policy and Research, representing Mr. Edwin W. Harris Jr., the Director-General of GIABA, highlighted the workshop’s role in understanding the country’s AML/CFT framework and addressing its weaknesses. He urged stakeholders to consider the assessment as a national development project rather than mere compliance with international standards.

“The workshop that is about to take place provides a golden opportunity for all the stakeholders to understand how the country’s AML/CFT framework works, and the weaknesses in it. Let the facts speak for themselves so that your country can be properly guided. As the saying goes, if you understand your problem, half of the problem is solved,” remarked Mr. Umaru.

He emphasised that the national risk assessment serves not only for compliance, but also as a tool for public enlightenment, education and community mobilisation in support of AML/CFT efforts in the country. Mr. Umaru provided ten reasons why conducting the NRA is crucial for a country, including prioritising risks, developing mitigation measures, and facilitating resource mobilisation.

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