The finance ministry and other economic stakeholders in the country will know by Thursday whether Botswana will finally be removed from the global money-laundering greylist it has been on since 2018.
The FATF’s decision will be publicised on Thursday and should Botswana be removed from the greylisting, it will also subsequently be removed from the European Union’s blacklist for anti-money laundering.
Ahead of the meeting, Botswana has received encouraging reviews of its progress in meeting the global standards for stamping out money laundering, with the finance minister, Peggy Serame recently revealing that all indications were positive.
The listing has increased the cost of local financial institutions doing business with international banks and other organisations due to the higher due diligence that is applied to them. There have also been delays in funds being transferred to and from Botswana, due to the need for greater due diligence.
The negative listing by the global bodies has also dulled the country’s much-hailed investment climate and carefully curated brand at a time when COVID-19 is already depressing the economy and countries’ competitiveness.
Since the listing, Botswana passed 25 pieces of legislation in 2018 and six more after that, demonstrating the political will to removing the country from the negative listings. In 2019, cabinet also approved the National Anti-Monetary Laundering/Combatting the Financing of Terrorism and Countering Proliferation strategy.