ACCRA: A NATIONAL Risk Assessment (NRA) workshop to provide the foundation for curbing anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) in Ghana is underway in Accra.
The event commenced on Tuesday and is scheduled to end Thursday.
Its aim is to identify, assess and understand money laundering and terrorism financing risk in the country as part of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) recommendations of 2012.
In addition, it is in fulfillment of Economic Committee of West African States (ECOWAS) ministerial committee of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa’s (GIABA) directive that all member states should conduct risk assessment of themselves before 2016.
In a speech read for the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong described the NRA workshop as timely owing to the spate of the high incidence of insecurity in West Africa.
“The final product (blue-print) of the NRA exercise which foundation is being laid today will place Ghana in a better stead for the next round of mutual evaluation that would be conducted in 2016 on the basis of assessing the effectiveness or measurable achievements made as a result of the AML/CFT measures of the country,” she indicated.
Appiah-Oppong urged the working group to ensure that the NRA was built on sound foundations observing that efforts must be made to ensure that the risks are well identified, assessed and understood before anything is done.
“As such, the NRA should be based on an assessment of the threats, vulnerabilities, consequences and the likelihood of crime to be committed.”
She also tasked the group to make sure the description of fundamental background information to assist designated competent authorities like the Financial Intelligence Center (FIC), Financial Institutions and Designated Non-Financial Bodies and Professions (DNFBPs) to ensure that decisions about allocating responsibilities and resources at the national level were based on a “practical, comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of the risks in the various sectors of the economy.”
The Director of Research and Planning, GIABA, delivering the remarks of Adama Coulibaly, the Director General of GIABA, revealed that NRA exercise would help the country clearly indentify and set priorities for intervention in order to systematically build its AML/CFT regime.
“A well executed NRA with comprehensive action plan will bring improvement in the country’s compliance ratings,” he said.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY