Chief Executive Officers of five Bankers Associations from the region today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the formation of an East African Bankers Association. The CEO’s from the national bankers associations of Kenya-Mr. Habil Olaka, Uganda-Mr. Emmanuel Turyamuhika Kikoni, Tanzania-Mr. Pascal Kamuzora, Rwanda- Ms. Jacqueline Mugwaneza and Burundi-Ms. Genevieve Buzungu, realized the need to work together to more effectively play their role in advocacy issues influencing policy formulation at the regional level in the interest of its customers and the banking industry.
The coming to effect of the Common Market Protocol in 2010 has seen the public sector arm of partnership embrace the harmonization of system in the context of East Africa Community. The Financial Services Sector has seen a lot of growth in the recent past, with a number of banks spreading their footprints regionally.
Kenya Bankers Association’s CEO, Habil Olaka said, ‘For the EABA, we have benefitted from the lessons learnt from other regional bankers associations and as we start on this journey we have the commitment of the national associations to drive the regional association’s agenda. We have structured a Secretariat initially to be housed by one of the members and the management office positions held by the national associations on a rotational basis.’
The founding members thanked the EAC as well as USAID-COMPETE project for assistance in achieving this milestone.
EABA has a vital role to play in the ongoing process of negotiations for the East African Community Monetary Union. At the EAC Monetary Union negotiations, the Monetary Affairs Committee is a stakeholder representing the public sector at the regional level and the regulator. The private sector on the other side of the equation would best be represented by EABA on behalf of the bankers. Harmonized regional systems will virtually eliminate regulatory arbitrage. This will create a level playing field for all players who wish to exploit the wider regional market that came into being upon actualization of the Common Market Protocol. This is beneficial to the regulators, banks, the bankers associations and more importantly the consumers of banking services in the region.
Facts about East African Bankers Association
- Made up of national Bankers Associations from 5 countries: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi
- Association’s mission is to play the advocacy role for the banking industry at the regional arena and provide a forum through which members can share information and best practices.