FSVC mentor Mohamed Adam training managers and compliance officers of local money transfer businesses; Kismayo, Somalia, January 2019.
FSVC helped train 39 representatives from money transfer businesses (MTBs) in Kismayo, Somalia, in international best practices in anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) compliance. AML/CFT is particularly important in Somalia as remittances amount to more than $1.6 billion annually. The majority of these remittances are transacted through MTBs.
To ensure local ownership, the Central Bank of Somalia (CBS) led the training, with support from FSVC’s mentors. The first three days focused on managers and compliance officers of MTBs, and stressed the importance of AML/CFT compliance and how to report suspicious transactions to Somalia’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The training then focused on helping MTB tellers gain a better understanding of how to apply in practice policies and procedures related to Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD).
Through this training, FSVC is helping to promote the safety and stability of Somalia’s financial sector, which will help allay the concerns of international regulatory bodies and enable the safe flow of remittances to the people of Somalia.
FSVC volunteer experts Linda Reedy (far right) and Milimo Moyo (second from right) during consultations with the RMI Banking Commission; Majuro, February 2019.
Since 2016, FSVC has been providing technical assistance to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) to strengthen its bank supervision and adherence to international best practices in AML/CFT.
As part of this ongoing program, FSVC conducted consultations with the RMI Banking Commission on February 4-8, to develop examination manuals on safety and soundness, and AML/CFT. The FSVC volunteer experts reviewed the RMI’s Banking Act, AML regulations, existing examination manuals and prior examination findings, to identify potential gaps with international standards. They then helped draft the new examination manuals using international best practices, and trained the Banking Commission on how to use the new manuals to effectively supervise banks.
As a result, the RMI Banking Commission received updated examination manuals that cover capital adequacy, asset quality, management, earnings, liquidity and sensitivity to market risk (CAMELS), as well as risk management, operational controls, compliance and asset quality (the ROCA rating framework) to examine foreign banking operations and complete AML/CFT examinations. The RMI Banking Commission is now better equipped to conduct examinations of financial institutions, which will help maintain international confidence in the RMI financial sector.
FSVC volunteer experts Caitlin Hoover and Peter Risman (left) with managers of the startup Brilog; Algiers, February 2019.
The Algerian entrepreneurial ecosystem has witnessed rapid growth since the early 2000s. Algerian startups represent a vital component of the country’s economy, but also face challenges in scaling up their businesses. One recurring challenge among Algerian startups is the lack of understanding of international best practices in digital marketing.
To address this challenge, two FSVC volunteer experts, in partnership with the Algerian Startup Initiative (ASI), trained startups in how to build actionable digital marketing strategies that align with a company’s business goals. The FSVC volunteer experts presented best practices and examples in how to maximize social media channels, mobile marketing, online analytics and search engine optimization. Participating startups learned how to build creative digital marketing campaigns, to grow their online presence and acquire more customers.
As a result of this project, startups in Algeria are in a stronger position to enhance their digital tools and online outreach capacity, which will help them expand their customer base and grow their sales. A robust and dynamic startup landscape is critical to job creation and economic growth in Algeria.
The FSVC family congratulates Board Member Bill Burns on the publication of his new book, The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for its Renewal (March 2019).
Ambassador Burns, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, was formerly U.S. Deputy Secretary of State. In his memoir, Ambassador Burns shares his insights and ideas about the past and future of American diplomacy. Drawing on a trove of newly declassified cables and memos, he gives readers a rare inside look at American diplomacy in action.
Over his 33-year career as a foreign service officer, Ambassador Burns played a central role in the most consequential diplomatic episodes of his time, from the end of the Cold War to U.S. relations with Putin’s Russia, from post–9/11 tumult in the Middle East to the secret nuclear talks with Iran.
His book has been widely acclaimed in the New York Times, Financial Times, Atlantic Monthly and elsewhere, and we highly recommend The Back Channel as an important and compelling read.