The Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation published a report in 2012 titled Capitalizing on Trust: Harnessing Somali Remittances for Counterterrorism, Human Rights and State Building. The authors are James Cockayne, co-director of the Center who leads its work in East Africa, and Liat Shetret, programs officer with the Center. The Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy institute dedicated to strengthening international counterterrorism cooperation. It has offices in New York, Washington and Brussels. The government of Denmark provided financial support for the study.
The Somali diaspora remits about $1 billion to $1.5 billion each year. This report analyzes the Somali remittance industry and offers ideas for improving its regulation, including combating money laundering and countering terrorist financing. The first part provides an overview of the organization of Somali remittance organizations (SROs). The second part explains how SROs are currently regulated and suggests that a decade of distrust has created a trust deficit between regulators and SROs.
Trust is central to the industry's business model, and the Center argues trust is the key to improving its regulation. The report draws on six months' desk research; 27 interviews with SROs working in East Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and North America; and interviews and a survey of regulators in those same regions.
Click here to read the entire report.