East Africa: EAC Acquires Compliance Tool

Arusha — The Secretariat is to implement a way to monitor member countries who fail to comply with the agreed provisions of the East African Community Common Market Protocol.

According to a press release issued last week, the EAC Secretary General Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera said, "The Scorecard is well aligned with the EAC's implementation priorities. It will foster peer learning and facilitate the adoption of best practice in the region. This will contribute to and strengthen the regional market, grow the private sector and deliver benefits to consumers." The Scorecard is entitled: East African Common Market Scorecard 2014:

Developed with the help of the World Bank, the new Scorecard will assess the progress toward developing the EAC Common Market. The Scorecard measures Partner States' compliance to the free movement of capital, good and services. However no mention is made of the penalties member countries are likely to face for non-compliance.

Dr Richard Sezibera officiated at the launching ceremony of the Scorecard at the Secratariat.

It was developed at the request of the EAC Secretariat and developed over a period of 18 months under the supervision of the EAC Secretariat and Partner States. The areas of capital, services and goods were selected for scoping as they are foundational for the operation of the common market.

Catherine Masinde, Head, East and Southern Africa, Investment Climate, said, "The EAC Scorecard provides transparent, rigorous, unbiased and client-led data on the key implementation gaps to the integration of the region's economies. It also highlights possible reform areas to improve compliance to the Common Market Protocol."

The chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, Mrs Phyllis Kandie, said the EAC community deserves an effieicent and effective Common Market. She said: "People in the region would like to enjoy the benefits that come along with market integration."

She said because of the slow pace of implementing the protocol, the optimism among East Africans during the launch of the protocol is fading away and being replaced by some level of despair."

The restrictions identified by the Scorecard limit cross-border trade and foreign direct investment into the East African region.

The Scorecard notably identifies at least 63 non-conforming measures in the trade of services and 51 non-tariff barriers affecting trade in goods while in the area of Capital, only 2 of the 20 operations covered by the Common Market Protocol are free of restrictions in all of the EAC Partner States. It makes four key recommendations: Elimination of non-tariff barriers; greater effective implementation of the common external tariff; complete elimination of tariffs and equivalent measures and continuation of the process of harmonization and mutual recognition of sanitary and phytosanitary standards as well as standards preventing technical barriers to trade.

EAC Secretariat

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