EAC seeks integration of financial services

Monday September 28 2020



Prof Manasseh

Prof Manasseh 

By Zephania Ubwani

Arusha. The East African Community (EAC) has approved several draft policies aimed to integrate the financial services among the partner states.

The integration will be realized through fast-tracking of implementation of Payment and Settlement systems in the region, among others.

The EAC Banking Certification Policy and its implementation strategy and road map is among the key document endorsed.

Also approved are the draft EAC Microfinance Service Policy and the draft EAC Insurance Bill.

This was announced here on Friday during the tabling of the $97.6 million EAC budget for 2020/21 financial year before the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala).

Each of the six partner states – Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan – will contributed about $9.1 million for the kitty. Some $41.9 million will be raised by donors.

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Prof Nshuti Manasseh, the chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers said the approvals would spur implementation of payment and settlement systems.

The approvals were made in January 2020 by the Sectoral Council on Finance and Economic Affairs at the onset of preparations for the 2020/21 budget.

Also considered and approved are principles required in extending pension coverage to the informal sector in the EAC bloc.

Prof Manasseh, who is Rwanda State minister for EAC Affairs,said requisite institutions to drive the East African Monetary Union (Eamu) would be established.

He announced that the five year EAC/World Bank Statistics Development and Harmonization Regional Project commenced activities last March.

“The focus for the current financial year will be on Information Technology infrastructural support to regional statistical training centers,” he said when he tabled the budget via a video conference.

During the 2020/21 fiscal year the EAC has budgeted to spend $97.6 million to meet its operational costs and finance development projects.

About a half of the money ($48.5 million) will go to the Secretariat, the executive arm of the Community, followed by Eala ($16.7 million).

The Inter University Council of East Africa (IUCEA) will top the rest of other organs/institutions in budget allocation. It will get $10.9 million.

It will be followed by the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) $8.3 million; East African Court of Justice (EACJ) $3.9 million and Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) $3 million.

The budget proposals will be debated virtually by the lawmakers from the six partner states starting 2.30pm today.