The EAC Monetary Institute Bill 2017 and the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill 2017 tabled by the Chair of the Council of Ministers, Hon Julius Wandera Maganda, sailed through the First Reading and were committed to the respective EALA Committees.
The object of the EAC Monetary Institute Bill, 2017, is to provide 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.
Closely related to the EAMI Bill is the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017, which also seeks to establish the Statistics Bureau as an Institution of the Community under Article 9 of the 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.
The EALA Committee on Communications, Trade and Investment is to hold public hearings on the EAC Statistics Bureau while the EAC Monetary Institute Bill will be handled by the General Purpose Committee.
The Speaker, Rt Hon Ngoga Karoli Martin said though the bills were tabled by the Council of Ministers, they were coming to the House close two years late. He therefore urged the Assembly to give both Bills the due attention deserved.
Meanwhile, Hon Amb Dr Augustine Mahiga, Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation in the United Republic of Tanzania was sworn in as an ex-officio Member of EALA.
Hon Amb Dr Mahiga was led in to the House by Hon Josephine Lemoyaan, Hon Abdulla Makame and Hon Happiness Elias Lugiko.
In his maiden speech immediately thereafter, the Minister registered appreciation to EALA and congratulated the Speaker and Members for their election. He further congratulated the Members of the Republic of South Sudan for joining the Assembly and noted the region looked forward to ensuring it (South Sudan) maximizes the benefits of integration.
The Minister remarked that EALA had made major contribution and remained a significant player in the process of integration. “You are the custodian of the Treaty and the one that oversights Government – speaking without fear or favour on where we need to improve”, Amb Dr Mahiga said.
“You are the indispensable link to the people of East Africa, he added saying EALA was essential in bringing people behind the integration process”, the Minister added.