The Global Center continues to assist Ethiopia in countering money laundering and illicit financial flows as part of an ongoing capacity building program supported by the Government of Denmark. The program is implemented in partnership with the Ethiopian Financial Intelligence Center (EFIC) and the Federal Attorney General (AG), as well as other key stakeholders.

Between July and December 2017, the EFIC focused on advancing a risk-based approach to supervision of financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs), resulting in the development of supervision manuals, conduct of on-site inspection visits, and initiation of sectoral risk assessments for key areas identified in Ethiopia’s national risk assessment. The program also supported ongoing engagement with the AG and Ethiopian Police University College to strengthen financial analysis and deepen financial investigation and prosecution capacities. This includes finalization of a manual on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), a multi-part certification course, and development of an AML/CFT training module for use in Ethiopian training academies. The AG also led outreach and awareness raising activities, including 16 workshops with the AG Public Wing across the country, publication of a call for papers from local experts on AML/CFT issues, and development of a TV program.

During this period, four trainings were held in Ethiopia for 116 representatives from police, prosecutors, regulators, and the private sector. The trainings were co-facilitated by local experts working with a globally diverse and highly qualified training team.

The capacity-building trainings include:

17-21 July: Foundations of Effective Financial Investigations: Understanding and Investigating Terrorist Finance

The second in a multi-course certification program, the training focused on understanding and investigating terrorist financing. After opening with a critical thinking exercise, local and international experts facilitated a detailed discussion on the international and domestic CFT frameworks, the terrorist funding cycle, and typologies for terrorist fundraising in Ethiopia. Participants worked in cross-institutional groups to identify and respond to the raising, moving, and use of terrorist funds in real-life case studies. The session concluded with an exercise on sources of financial intelligence, and examination of how financial intelligence contributed to the investigations of the London Transport bombings on 7 July 2005 and the attempted attack on 21 July 2005.

23-27 October: Foundations of Effective Financial Investigations: Alternative Payment Systems and Financial Analysis Techniques

The third training in the certification course focused on understanding the threats, vulnerabilities, and sources of information related to alternative payment systems in Ethiopia, including hawala, Western Union, mobile money, cash couriers, and new payment service such as pre-paid cards and digital currency. It included a discussion on accountability and integrity in financial investigations and tactics for converting information into evidence. Trainers also introduced financial analysis techniques, such as suspect and network analysis, forensic accounting, and international requests for information. Guest presentations were delivered by a representative from Ethiopian mobile money company, M-birr, and the senior manager of the financial intelligence unit at Western Union.

29 November and 1 December: Developing Risk Based Supervision for DNFBPs

In order to support the implementation of risk-based approaches to supervision, this training examined the role of the supervisor in AML/CFT compliance, good practices for assessing risk and applying a risk-based approach, and the conduct of onsite and offsite inspections. The training concluded with a working group discussion on how to tailor and implement a risk-based approach to DNFBP supervision in Ethiopia, including development of policy guidance and manuals.

11-12 December: Supervising Charitable and Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) in Ethiopia

To deepen the understanding of risks within the NPO sector and promote a risk-based and human rights calibrated approach to regulation, a training was facilitated to discuss Ethiopia’s legal and institutional frameworks, including licensing and registration requirements for NPOs. Building on this, the trainers presented international good practices for the supervision of charities and NPOs and examples where over-regulation has unintended or negative consequences (such as restricting or denying access to financial services). The trainers facilitated discussion on how identified good practices could be adapted and implemented within the Ethiopian context, including developing sound internal self-regulation and methods of positive engagement with the sector that support information gathering and investigation in line with human rights principles.

To support increased regional AML/CFT cooperation, the project team also organized an information-sharing workshop for representatives from the Somali, Djiboutian, and Afghanistan FIUs, as well as the Central Bank of Djibouti and former representatives from the Central Bank of Somalia. The workshop focused on sharing experiences in developing national strategies and action plans on AML/CFT, increasing the number and quality of suspicious and cash transaction reporting from DNFBPs, and facilitating effective and strategic national AML/CFT committees. It provided an informal platform for dialogue, relationship building, and practical experience sharing and peer-to-peer learning.

Updates from the first year of the program can be found here. For more information, please contact Ms. Tracey Durner at tdurner@globalcenter.org.

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