This now sets stage for a new institution to be known as the EAC Statistics Bureau should the Heads of State assent to the enacted Bill.
The Bill which was deferred at the last Sitting in Arusha, sailed through today with Members emphasizing its importance as the integration process makes strides and progresses towards the Monetary Union.
According to a statement from the secretariat, The EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017, 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 also 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.
On October 3rd 2018, at the 1st Sitting of the 2nd Session, the Minister for EAC, Burundi, Hon Isabelle Ndahayo, on behalf of the Council of Ministers moved a Motion to postpone the debate on the crucial Bill. The debate on adjournment was preceded by presentation of the Report of the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment (CTI) on the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017 by the Chair of the Committee, Hon Gai Deng.
The Hon Minister then informed the House that, the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017, which was a Council Bill needed time for more consultation before debate can ensue. Particularly, Tanzania had vide a letter to the Clerk of EALA on October 1st, 2018, requested for reinstatement of the earlier provision of clause 7(2)a of the said bill, in effect, rejecting the amendment proposed by the EALA Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment (CTI) submitted to the Council of Ministers on September 24th, 2018.
However, updating the House yesterday, the Chair of Council of Ministers, Hon Julius Maganda ceded ground to the proposal and remarked that both Council of Ministers and the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment had concurred that the clause be retained as is.
The envisaged East African Community Statistics Bureau is responsible for the development, production and dissemination of Community statistics in order to support the establishment of the Monetary Union. At the stage of second reading yesterday, several amendments were incorporated as contained in the schedule.
Prior to the enactment of the Bill, Members at debate who rose in support of the same were Hon Rose Akol, Hon Mohammed Mnyaa, Hon Amb Fatuma Ndangiza, Hon Dr Francois Xavier Kalinda, Hon Dr Ngwaru Maghembe, Hon Dennis Namaara, Hon Simon Mbugua and Hon Chris Nduwayo. Others were Hon Adam Kimbisa, Hon Oda Gasinzigwa, Hon Dr Woda Jeremiah Odok, Hon Maryam Ussi, Hon Dr Gabriel Aher, Hon Susan Nakawuki, Hon Mukasa Mbidde, Hon Fancy Nkuhi and Hon Josephine Lemoyaan.
Hon Marie Claire Burukukiye, Hon Kim Ghai, Hon Mathias Kasamba, Hon Pierre Celestin Rwigema, Hon Jean Muhirwa also gave a nod to the Statistics Bill.
The Bill is now to be forwarded to the EAC Heads of State for assent in line with Article 63 of the Treaty for the EAC.