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 Uganda gets off the Financial Action Task Force Grey List

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Uganda has gotten off the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) Grey List, marking a significant milestone in the country’s dedication to enhancing financial transparency and combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

The FATF, an intergovernmental organisation that sets global standards for combating illicit finance, placed Uganda on its Grey List in February 2020 due to concerns regarding deficiencies in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) measures. Since then, Uganda has implemented a series of rigorous reforms and demonstrated substantial progress in aligning its financial regulations with international standards.

The decision to delist Uganda from the Grey list was disclosed by FATF President Raja Kumar while announcing the outcomes of the fifth plenary meeting, which took place in Paris, France, on February 21–23, 2024.

During the period when Uganda was under close monitoring by FATF, the government initiated key AML/CFT reforms intended to improve the robustness of Uganda’s systems to deal with money laundering (ML) and terrorism financing (TF). The said reforms include:

Following the announcement, Samuel Were Wandera, the Executive Director, Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) Uganda, emphasised the importance of this achievement, stating, “Uganda’s exit from the FATF Grey List is a testament to our unwavering commitment to fostering a transparent and secure financial environment. It reflects the concerted efforts of our government and regulatory authorities to strengthen our AML/CFT framework and safeguard our financial system from illicit activities.”

“When the country was placed on the grey list, it made a high-level political commitment to work with FATF and the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-MMoney Laundering Group (ESAAMLG). “The government of Uganda has been actively working to strengthen the effectiveness of its anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime to implement the action plan agreed to with the FATF, which comprises 22 action items,” he said.

The FIA Executive Director assured the FATF delegates, Ugandans, and the international community of Uganda’s commitment to consolidating the highlighted achievements attained during the period and to further strengthen the AML/CFT/CPF regime.

He confirmed the entity’s commitment to effectively coordinate an all-government approach to the crimes, increased engagements with the private sector to aggressively embrace the various AML/CFT measures, including dealing with the identified risks, and strengthened the capacity of the institutions involved in the fight against ML/TF crimes.

Uganda’s successful exit from the FATF Grey List not only reinforces the country’s reputation as a responsible member of the global financial community but also enhances its attractiveness to investors and facilitates greater access to international financial markets.

The Financial Intelligence Authority expresses gratitude to the FATF for its constructive engagement and guidance throughout this process. Uganda remains committed to sustaining momentum in its efforts to strengthen its AML/CFT framework further and contribute to global efforts to combat financial crime.

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