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FSVC Monthly Update – Assessing Mobile Payments in Somalia, Support Commodities Exchange in Kenya and More!

Somalia: Assessing the Risk of Money Laundering
via Mobile Payments
Port of Bossaso, Somalia

The FinTech industry is rapidly transforming Somalia into a cashless society, as people are increasingly using mobile money for everyday transactions. While offering new financial services to the Somali population, mobile money poses majors challenges and threats, as it is not currently supervised by the Central Bank of Somalia. As a consequence, mobile payments are vulnerable to money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF).

To help the Central Bank effectively regulate mobile payments, in September, FSVC completed an assessment of the sector and its vulnerability to ML/TF. The FSVC experts reviewed existing laws and regulations, assessed the current capacity and awareness of mobile money providers, and analyzed the scope of the challenge in light of the activity of the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.

Thanks to FSVC’s assessment, the Central Bank of Somalia has a clear overview of threats and challenges in the mobile payment sector, and recommendations on how to mitigate the risks while protecting financial inclusion.

Tajikistan: Train-the-Trainer on Reporting Suspicious Transactions
Representatives of the Tajik Financial Intelligence Unit during an FSVC training. Dushanbe, Tajikistan, September 2020

Tajikistan’s 2018 Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Mutual Evaluation Report highlighted that Tajik Reporting Entities tend to submit too many low-quality suspicious transaction reports. As a result, the Financial Intelligence Unit’s (FIU) financial analysis process is particularly tedious and inefficient.

To address this challenge, in September, FSVC Consultant Marilyne Landry led a remote Train-the-Trainer seminar via Webex for staff at the Tajik FIU. The seminar focused on how the FIU can better instruct Reporting Entities in monitoring transactions and customer relationships for unusual activity, investigating the activity to determine whether it is truly suspicious, and documenting suspicious transactions in a well-written report that will be useful to the FIU and law enforcement.

As a result of FSVC’s assistance, Reporting Entities will receive clearer guidance on how to monitor transactions and fill out suspicious transaction reports so that they actively support the FIU’s work.

This activity was implemented with funding from the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan.

East Africa: Supporting the Commodities Exchange Market
Nairobi, Kenya

FSVC is excited to start a new program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to support the agricultural commodities exchange market in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania!

The current commodities trading systems in these three East African countries suffer from major inefficiencies, including lack of transparency, limited information availability, and constricted access to agricultural credit. Individual farmers, as a result, are often underpaid and cannot efficiently track production and storage.

These countries have recently undertaken reforms aimed at establishing national commodities exchanges. FSVC’s program will support these initiatives, and provide technical assistance to help develop fully integrated, modern commodities trading systems that will allow both farmers and consumers to benefit from lower transaction costs, price transparency, increased liquidity and assured quality. While East Africa is facing major agricultural challenges due to droughts and locust outbreaks, transparent commodities exchange markets will be critical to help plan and manage more efficiently agricultural production.

#FSVC30thAnniversary: Twenty Years of Carnegie Symposia

2019 FSVC/Carnegie Symposium. Saint Petersburg, Russia, July 2019

On the occasion of its 30th anniversary, FSVC looks back at its unique twenty-year partnership with Carnegie Corporation of New York. Since 2000, FSVC and Carnegie Corporation have implemented a multi-year series of symposia bringing together thought leaders from the United States, Russia, China, India and Europe. A core concept underlying the symposia has been that the most intractable problems confronting the world today require multilateral coordination among key countries if they are to be successfully addressed.

In an era of growing tensions and rising nationalism, participants have explored potential areas of mutual interest in tackling shared policy issues involving the international financial system, energy security and climate change.

The Carnegie symposia have successfully promoted multidisciplinary approaches and dialogue among experts from differing areas of specialization, instilling cross-border pollination of ideas. While the world is facing unprecedented challenges, FSVC looks forward to holding another symposium in 2021 that will offer a valuable platform for dialogue, exchange of ideas and creative problem solving.