Protecting the Non-Profit Sector from Terrorism Financing Abuse in Eastern and Southern Africa

Lusaka, Zambia 17 May 2022 – The Global Coordinated Programme on Detecting, Preventing, and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT Programme) of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center (UNCCT) within the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), the EU Global Facility on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism and the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) concluded a Joint Regional Capacity-building Workshop on “Protecting the Non-Profit Sector in the ESAAMLG Member Jurisdictions from Terrorist Financing Abuse”. 

The 2-day workshop was the first activity delivered by the UNCCT CFT Programme on the protection of the Non-Profit Organization (NPO) sector from terrorist abuse, within the framework of the revised ESAAMLG Counter- Terrorist Financing Operational Plan, which was developed with the support of UNCCT.

One of the five key priority areas of the ESAAMLG CFT Counter-Terrorist Financing Operational Plan is to promote effective risk-based regulations and supervision mechanisms for NPOs to be better protected from terrorist abuse.

The objective of this event was to enhance the technical and operational capacity of the ESAAMLG member jurisdictions in this regard. The workshop facilitated discussions and the sharing of best practices focused on the implementation of a risk-based approach of the NPO sector and more specifically, the challenges related to the implementation of the Recommendation 8 of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and International Standards as well as NPOs effective investigations mechanisms and public-NPOs partnerships. 

This two-day event was attended by over 100 representatives (virtually and in-person) from relevant law enforcement, regulatory authority, and Financial Intelligence Units (FIU) from the ESAAMLG member Jurisdictions.

One of the main outcomes of this workshop is the proposal to establish a regional network of national focal points in order to enhance regional cooperation in implementing a risk-based approach for the NPO sector and foster the exchange of best practices. The event also contributed to building a common understanding of the terrorist financing threats and vulnerabilities both at the national and regional levels.

Since 2018, the UNOCT/UNCCT CFT Programme and  ESAAMLG have jointly delivered seven (7) regional/subregional capacity-building and training activities covering a wide range of thematic issues related to Countering the Financing of Terrorism. The CFT Programme aims to support ESAAMLG in implementing its Regional Operational Plan on counter-terrorist financing which includes conducting the first region-wide terrorist financial risk assessment.