Finance Minister explains why Uganda was removed from Financial Terrorism list

Finance Minister explains why Uganda was removed from Financial Terrorism list

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  • February 28, 2024
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By Evans Najuna

KAMPALA – Couple of days, Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) removed Uganda from its “Grey List. FATF which is global inter- governmental body mandated to ensure that Governments fight Money Laundering, Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation; and other threats to the integrity of the financial system.

During its plenary meetings held from 19th to 23rd February 2024 in Paris, the FATF recognized Uganda’s satisfactory implementation of all the deficiencies in it’s Anti – Money Laundering / Combatting Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legal, regulatory and operational regime and removed Uganda from the list of countries under increased monitoring, commonly referred to as the “Grey List”.

According to the Uganda’s Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. Matia Kasaija, in a statement presented earlier to the press on Wednesday, the Minister said that he was very pleased officially to announce that the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) has removed Uganda from its Grey List.

Kasaija narrated that, following a decision by the FATF Plenary in February 2020, Uganda was placed on the grey list of countries under increased monitoring and given a list of 22 action plan items to remedy our shortcomings.

He noted that had Uganda failed to fulfill these actions, the country would have been at a risk of being blacklisted.

This would have adversely affected the ability of our financial institutions to conduct international financial transactions and international business in general.

Furthermore, the FATF sanctions would have prohibited other foreign financial institutions from dealing with their Ugandan counterparts, potentially crippling our financial sector. However, since being placed on the “Grey List”, the country has worked tirelessly to demonstrate political commitment and implemented the FATF action plan.

He added that he was delighted that these efforts have now come to fruition. “The removal of Uganda from the ‘Grey List’ represents a significant achievement for our country. It demonstrates the integrity of our financial system, reaffirms our commitment to effective regulation and enhances our standing within the international community,” the Minister said. Adding that the message from FATF is clear that Uganda is a safe place to invest.

He highlighted out that, the removal from the ‘Grey List’ unlocks a host of benefits for Uganda’s economy. “It will build investor confidence, reduce the cost of doing business and reinforce our global reputation. We will now have unrestricted access to international markets and credit, providing a vital boost to government’s socio-economic” he added.

Kasaija, assured the country that, the Government of Uganda is committed to sustaining the excellent progress they have made.

Explaining that this will be achieved through the implementation of a comprehensive post-grey list strategy, including continuous review of our legal framework, sustained capacity of all the relevant institutions to effectively combat Money Laundering, Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation and ongoing engagement with the private sector.

Conclusively, the Minister recognised that Uganda’s exit from the Grey List has been the result of concerted efforts from a wide range of stakeholders. “Our special appreciation goes to the FATF, International Cooperation Review Group officials and the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group Secretariat for their guidance” Kasaija said.

He thanked HE. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda, the entire executive, the judiciary, and the legislature.

And recognize the tireless efforts of the Hon. Attorney General, Hon. Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development (General Duties), the Uganda AML/CFT 3 Taskforce, Development Partners and the private sector for the work well done on behalf of the Country.

“We have passed an important milestone on our pathway to prosperity. Uganda is off the FATF “Grey List” and our financial system is growing from strength to strength. Let us celebrate this achievement and continue our efforts to deliver socio-economic transformation for all Ugandans” he said.

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