COMESA was part of the participants to the 25th Egmont Group of financial Intelligence Meeting, which was held in Sydney, Australia, 24th – 28th September 2018.
Egmont Group comprises Financial Intelligent Units (FIUs), which have attained a certain standard in its operations in line with international standards. COMESA is an Observer of the Group since 2016 due to the role the Maritime Security (MASE) programme plays in strengthening capacity of FIUs, including supporting their joining into the Group.
A total of 156 Egmont FIUs participated in the meeting in addition to Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Style Regional Bodies (FATF), Observers, supporting and cooperating nations. In line with relevance to MASE programme and coupled with fact that the meetings were held concurrently.
COMESA Delegation also took the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with key partners including representatives of the South Africa and the Mauritius FIUs, which are supporting FIUs in some of the MASE countries to join the Egmont Group.
During the same meeting, two FIUs from COMESA Member States (Republic of Congo and Zambia) were admitted as Egmont Group members bringing the total FIUs in Egmont Group to 160 whilst increasing the number of FIUs in the ESA region to eight.
The COMESA delegation led by Head of Governance Peace and Security, Elizabeth Mutunga participated in the Technical Assistance and Training Working Group (TATWG); Policy and Procedures Working Group (PPWG), the meeting for the Eastern and Southern Africa region, several executive training sessions and the plenary.
The participation in the group enabled COMESA to take advantage of global forum and report on its capacity building progress, which also helps MASE programme visibility motives. Further, it also enables COMESA to be aware of activities carried out by other players so that it avoids unnecessary overlaps whilst identifying areas for possible synergies.
Currently COMESA is supporting FIUs from Ethiopia, Kenya and Madagascar to join the Egmont Group. This is considered a key outcome of the COMESA Component of the MASE programme.