The European Union has disclosed that from June, this year, Ghana will be removed from the list of countries that are deficient in anti-money laundering and terrorism financing.
The decision follows President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s two-day working visit to Brussels, Belgium.
According to a statement signed by the Acting Director of Communications at the Jubilee House, Eugene Arhin, the European Commission announced the decision at a meeting between President Akufo-Addo and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.
The EU said it acknowledged the efforts Ghana had made in implementing the action plan of the International Country Risk Guide (ICRG) in record time.
“The Commission, thus, congratulated Ghana for the reforms embarked on, as well as the sustainable, robust systems deployed towards being taken of the list.
“It is expected that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, will, in June 2021, announce that Ghana has been taken off its list of high risk, third-world countries with strategic deficiencies in Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Terrorism Financing,” the statement mentioned.
The European Commission in May 2020 listed Ghana and 11 other countries as having lapses in their AML and CFT regimes, thus posing significant threats to the European Union’s financial system
The inclusion of Ghana in the blacklist meant that financial transactions from Ghana into the EU and vice versa received extra scrutiny to ensure that they did not escape the “deficiencies” identified to the benefit of money launderers and terrorist financiers.
Again, at the meeting with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU indicated the selection of Ghana as a possible manufacturing hub for COVID-19 vaccines in Africa.
This, according to the Commission, follows the initiatives already taken by the government of President Akufo-Addo towards the domestic manufacturing of vaccines.
“The taskforce teams from the EU and Ghana will meet shortly to discuss modalities towards the realization of this initiative, which, in principle, could be supported by the European Investment Bank (EIB),” Mr Arhin said in the statement.
Also during the visit, President Akufo-Addo secured €170 million from EIB for the establishment of the Development Bank Ghana. The new national bank will assist in the revitalisation of the economy, as well as see to the rapid recovery of the country from the ravages of COVID-19.
Three nation tour
President Akufo-Addo on Sunday, May 16 left Ghana for a nine-day official working visit to France, Belgium, and South Africa.
The visits were part of the efforts the President is making to re-engage with the rest of the world, and promote Ghana, once again, as a country with an impressive business-friendly atmosphere and bright economic prospects for the future following the global socio-economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The President attended a Summit on Financing African Economies in Paris, on May 18, which was to help foster sustainable progress and prosperity on the continent, and accelerate the green and digital transition in line with the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Then on Wednesday, May 19, in Brussels, at the invitation of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, President Akufo-Addo held talks with Dr Michel on regional security, as well as on sustainability issues in the cocoa and fisheries sectors of Ghana, and their impact on relations between Ghana and the European Union.
As part of his last lap of his tour, President Akufo-Addo is expected to address the Fourth Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), scheduled to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, today.
He is expected to return to Ghana tomorrow.