FATF urges Kenya to increase crypto oversight, tighten AML policies

The Financial Action Task Force has directed Kenya to step up its efforts in prosecuting money laundering activities.

Kenya’s National Treasury Department has announced that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has also directed Kenya to improve its anti-money laundering and terrorism financing measures.

In its recent update, the FATF has placed Namibia on its watchlist while removing Uganda, indicating shifts in monitoring countries’ compliance with international financial crime standards. 

Kenya finds itself alongside South Africa and Nigeria under the FATF’s scrutiny, coinciding with President William Ruto’s initiatives to attract investment into Kenya. This development could raise Kenya’s foreign funding cost and impact its trade dynamics.

Despite having a vibrant digital asset market, Kenya’s hesitance to adopt specific regulations for cryptocurrencies mirrors the stance of many African nations. The reluctance has heightened the risk of Kenya being added to the FATF’s grey list, including four other East African Community members.

Introducing a regulatory framework for managing Kenya’s cryptocurrency market could equip local authorities with the tools to combat money laundering activities utilizing digital assets like Bitcoin. Such regulations would enable the monitoring of cryptocurrency transactions and their integration into the Kenyan financial ecosystem, enhancing transparency and security.

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