Nairobi: The US plans to start offering technical assistance to Kenya to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC) financed by the US government last week met officials in the Ministry of Finance and players in the financial sector to identify the gaps in the financial sector that promote money laundering.
“To promote transparency, financial inclusion, and economic justice in the EAC, FSVC will deliver technical assistance by assessing current EAC members’ capabilities and tailoring workshops that bring regional counterparts together,” FSVC said in a statement.
The PS in the ministry of finance Mr Joseph Kinyua, Central Bank governor Njuguna Ndung’u, players in the banking and forex bureau sectors and Mr Emery Kobor from the US Treasury department attended the meeting.
Kenya’s efforts to reduce poverty through the use of money transfer and agency banking have increased the risk of money laundering.
The IMF executive board meeting last month recommended that Kenyan authorities address deficiencies in its anti-money laundering framework – AML/CFT framework.
Last week’s meeting was the last of a series of three that started In October last year.
Kenya has been receiving funds that do not fall in the traditional categories, into which the balance of payments is split. The inflows have in the past raised suspicions that Kenya was being used to launder money from criminal sources such as drug trafficking, gun running and piracy.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing financing for training. It is also expected to result in a report suitable for public distribution and would create a basis for applying appropriate remedies in Kenya and other emerging market countries.
“To manage this programme, FSVC is currently seeking a country director to be based in Nairobi. This will be the first FSVC technical assistance program in Kenya,” said the organisaion in a statement.
The US Agency for International Development (USAid) selected FSVC to run a three-year program to promote regional financial sector deepening and integration among the East African Community (EAC) member states. The EAC is comprised of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.
FSVC will deliver technical assistance to the EAC Secretariat for Financial Sector Development Regionalisation. The program will begin with assessments of current EAC capabilities and needs and proceed to tailor workshops to address those needs.
Other organisations financing the programme are Agency for International Development (USAid) and the Open Society Foundation.