FINANCE minister Margaret Mwanakatwe says Zambia’s admission as a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units is a positive milestone for the country.
The admission follows the endorsement made by heads of Global Financial Intelligence Units (FIU’s).
The confirmation of membership was made at the 25th Plenary of the Egmont Group, recently held in Sydney, Australia at which Zambia was represented by FIC director general Mary Tshuma.
According to Ministry of Finance spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta, for the last four years, Zambia’s application to become a member of Egmont Group as required by the global Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Standards, has been under rigorous assessment.
Kandeta stated that it had now yielded positive results.
And Mwanakatwe attributed the move to the state sponsored fight against financial crimes, targeted at ensuring that the country’s fiscal governance systems not only attained global benchmarking but also enhanced information sharing with international institutions entrusted with similar responsibility.
“Admittance to the Egmont Group is also expected to improve investor confidence in Zambia’s financial system and its attendant Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism Regime,” she said.
Mwanakatwe said Zambia’s membership becomes an addition to the positive attributes that international rating agencies looked out for in assigning a sovereign credit rating to a country.
She reiterated the government’s resolve to strengthen the country’s financial system and the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism regime so that local institutions entrusted with the responsibility of fighting crime, continued to operate independently and autonomously.
The goal of the Egmont Group is to provide a forum for FIUs around the world to improve support to their respective governments in the fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes.