The EAC Monetary Institute Bill, 2017 and the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017, are two key pieces of draft legislations on agenda as the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) moves its sitting to Dodoma, Tanzania starting today, Monday.
The regional House’s first ever sitting in Tanzania’s designate capital – which starts today Monday and ends on April 28 – is to be presided over by Speaker, Martin Ngoga, with Tanzanian President Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli expected to address the Assembly at a special sitting sometime next week.
The two pieces of legislation are critical in the eventual set up of the East African Monetary Union (EAMU), the East African Community’s third pillar of integration preceding the ultimate phase – the EAC Political Federation.
Partner States negotiated a Protocol for establishment of the EAMU which was signed by regional leaders in November 2013.
The EAMU protocol provides for the establishment of four support institutions: the East African Monetary Institute – a precursor to the East African Central Bank – which was supposed to be set up by December 2015 but never happened, and the East African Statistics Bureau (2018), among others.
In March, when MP Dr Pierre Celestin Rwigema (Rwanda) asked the Council of Ministers to inform the House about the status of implementation of the third and fourth pillars of the integration during the last sitting in Arusha, Tanzania, Dr Ali Kirunda Kivejinja, Chairperson of the Council of Ministers, said the EAC Secretariat – the executive organ of the Community – is working with Partner States to develop legal instruments for establishment of the institutions.
Apart from Bills and resolutions set to be brought before Plenary, Committee undertakings are also expected particularly on scrutiny of Bills in preparation for the forthcoming public hearings, said Bobi Odiko, the Assembly’s senior public relations officer.
“There are two key Bills that are pertinent to the Monetary Union Protocol; the EAC Monetary Institute Bill, 2017 and the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017,” he said.
The two Bills were introduced by the Chair of the Council of Ministers, Dr Ali Kirunda Kivenjija during the EALA sitting held in Kampala, Uganda, in January.
The EAC Monetary Institute Bill, 2017, will pave way for the establishment of the East African Monetary Institute as an institution of the Community responsible for preparatory work for the EAC Monetary Union.
In accordance with Article 23 of the Protocol on the EAC Monetary Union, the Bill is expected to provide for the functions, governance and funding for the Institute as well as other related matters.
The EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017, on the other hand seeks to establish the Statistics Bureau as an Institution of the Community under Article 9 of the EAC Treaty and Article 21 of the Protocol on Establishment of the EAC Monetary Union.
The Bill provides for the functions, powers, governance and its funding with a view to establishing an institution responsible for statistics in a bid to support the East African Monetary Union.
In Dodoma, the Council of Ministers is thus expected to meet with regional lawmakers – especially members of the EALA Committee on Communications, Trade and Investment and members of the General Purpose Committee – to thrash out key matters on both Bills.