New law to end EA arms sales
Posted Saturday, April 21 2012 at 16:41
- New legislation could result in improved economic climate for region
A trade bill passed by the East African Community (EAC) Parliament to reduce the proliferation of small arms, narcotic drugs and other illegal goods could result in an improved economic climate for the region.
The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) last Thursday passed the East African Community Customs Management (Amendment) Bill, 2012, a modification of the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004.
The Bill anchors into law the need for regulatory authorities in the East African Community to cooperate and share information that would help control and regulate money laundering, trade in counterfeit goods as well as trafficking of drugs and arms in the bloc.
Although the immediate economic impact of controlling counterfeit goods and money laundering may be obvious, the provisions dealing with security could have an equal–if not wider–impact on regional economies.
“Indirectly, a lot of economic losses we make annually due to insecurity will be curtailed,” said Mr Abdul Karim Harelimana, the chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution.
Countries in the East African community have been increasingly opening their borders in the last decade in an effort to encourage trade and free movement of people.
A 2011 report published by World Political Review attempts to draw parallels between the proliferation of small arms and economic activities in partner states of the EAC.
Authors Brian Finlay and Johan Bergenas claim conflicts have cost communities billions of shillings in potential revenue.
The Bill, which was supported overwhelmingly by MPs, will be forwarded to the heads of state for approval before it can become law. It will then be enforced by the Customs Directorate.