The Hub is partnering with Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiation Institute Uganda (SEATINI-U) to accelerate implementation of the East African Community Common Market Protocol (EAC CMP) by promoting coherence between Uganda’s laws, policies and regulations for increased intra-regional trade and investment flows. As part of this partnership, SEATINI-U convened a policy makers’ meeting in Kampala on February 15 to discuss proposals for the review of the Uganda Insurance Bill, 2016.
The insurance sector depends on the flexible movement of capital and services for its growth in the regional market. Each of the Partner States’ insurance sectors are small with low market penetration levels and premiums, thus EAC regional integration presents major opportunities for the growth of the sector given the wider market. However, this requires a supportive legal framework to be in place.
The Insurance Act is the overarching binding legal framework for the operations of the insurance sector in Uganda. It is imperative that it is made coherent with the EAC Common Market provisions as provided for under Article 24 on the free movement of capital.
The current Insurance Bill, 2016 (which was recently approved by the parliamentary committee) does not conform to the EAC CMP. Specifically, Clauses 36(2) (a) and 50(1) of the Bill are inconsistent with Article 24 of the EAC CMP, which requires all Partners States to remove restrictions to the free movement of capital within the region. If passed into law, the Act will undermine the successful implementation of the EAC CMP, which lies within Partner States’ national laws, policies and regulations.
During the meeting, participants:
- Raised parliamentarians’ awareness on the imperative for implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol;
- Enhanced parliamentarians’ understanding and appreciation of the role of national laws, policies and regulations in implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol;
- Agreed on a way forward regarding an audit of Ugandan laws to ensure that they conform with the EAC Common Market Protocol.
SEATINI-U also engaged with the Uganda Insurance Regulatory Authority, the Uganda Insurers’ Association and parliamentarians on the review of the Insurance Bill, 2016. This engagement included sharing the reform memorandum on the Insurance Bill, 2016 that was provided by the Hub.