Rwandans who worked in any of the five East African Community (EAC) partner states before returning home are likely to get their social security benefits once the Common Market Protocol comes into force next month, a government official has said.
According to the head of Economic Policy in the Office of the Prime Minister, John Kalisa, once the annex on social security is approved effective next month; there will be a transfer of contributions among partner states to their respective beneficiaries.
“When this is approved in the protocol, Rwandans, like other East Africans, will have a right to their money, the contributions they made while they were serving in any of the EAC countries,” Kalisa said yesterday in an interview at an ongoing EAC meeting in Kampala.
This, Kalisa explained, will be managed through the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR) which will ensure the beneficiaries’ packages are transferred to Rwanda.
“The transfer of funds to Rwandans will increase savings and this will substantially lead to poverty reduction in the country,” he added.
The ten-day meeting is also considering the annex on mutual recognition of academic and professional qualifications.
However, an advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prudence Sebahizi, explains that the meeting will specifically be looking at mutual recognition and leaving harmonization for the future.
“Harmonization is a process and it might require a longer period…that is why we are dealing with mutual recognition. Harmonization will be continuous,” he said.
Currently, the East African region is characterized by unemployment mostly blamed on the different education systems which do not enable equal consideration of academic qualifications within all the five EAC countries.