The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) in cooperation with CGCC facilitated a regional workshop on the effective monitoring of alternative remittances to prevent terrorist financing in East Africa. Alternative remittance systems (ARS), as defined by the Financial Action Task Force, are financial services traditionally operating outside the conventional financial sector, where value or funds are moved from one geographic location to another. In the context of cash intensive economies, the principal challenge for many governments is to find ways to enable cheap, secure, and continuous financial transfer solutions in areas where no formal financial services are available. This workshop sought to identify vulnerabilities of alternative remittances to terrorist financing and provide a platform for sharing good practices in strengthening industry standards through dialogue among remitters, regulators, law enforcement, and the private sector.
The two and a half-day workshop, hosted by the Government of Ethiopia with the generous support of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the German Federal Foreign Office, brought together a cross-section of local, regional, and international experts to identify tangible recommendations for strengthening existing regulatory frameworks of ARS in East Africa and the greater Horn. An international team of experts brought together by CGCC provided professional, multidisciplinary insight on the prevention of terrorist abuse of ARS. Specific topics covered during the workshop included assessing risks of terrorist financing with an emphasis on the alternative remittance sector, the regulation of remittance flows in the East African context, and strengthening inter-agency and cross-border cooperation with a balanced approach to financial integrity and financial inclusion in the oversight and regulation of ARS.