Kenya seeks global assistance from IMF, World Bank to tackle money laundering

In response to being placed on the grey list by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for international money laundering, Kenya is now actively seeking support from global financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u addressed the National Assembly Committee on Public Debt and Privatisation on Monday, outlining the country’s plan to seek assistance from key international entities. Additionally, Kenya aims to secure validation from the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom in its efforts to exit the FATF’s grey list.

Ndung’u assured the committee that multilateral donors, including the IMF and World Bank, have pledged significant technical assistance to help Kenya comply with FATF regulations aimed at curbing money laundering. He highlighted commitments from the EU, the US, and the UK, emphasizing the collaborative approach to developing a strategic timetable for implementation across various institutions.

The involvement of the UK, US, IMF, and World Bank extends beyond addressing money laundering concerns. These entities will also assist Kenya in effectively managing its debt liabilities, mitigating the risk of exposure to incidents such as grey-listing and debt distress.

A grey list indicates increased scrutiny by the FATF due to deficiencies in anti-money laundering regulations. Despite this, Ndung’u dismissed concerns about the country’s credit rating worsening, attributing the scrutiny to questions about institutional integrity rather than creditworthiness.

Addressing allegations that Kenya rushed to acquire a new Eurobond following the grey-listing, Ndung’u refuted claims and highlighted the government’s proactive measures since the Kenya Kwanza government’s inauguration. He emphasized the administration’s commitment to prevent the country from facing further international scrutiny.

The Treasury officially announced Kenya’s placement on the FATF’s grey list on February 23, citing concerns related to international money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Ndung’u emphasized the government’s efforts to enact interventions and initiatives, assuring that Kenya is actively working to avoid further negative consequences associated with being grey or black-listed.

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