What you need to know:
The system will allow regional nationals to pay for goods and services in local currencies using merchant codes.
East African member states have agreed to fast track a cross-border payment system to boost trade and cut cross border money transfer costs.
This was revealed during the four-day meeting of the ICT cluster infrastructure development of the Northern Corridor integration projects that ended in Nairobi, Kenya, last Thursday.
According to the joint communique issued after the meeting, technical teams from EAC member states agreed to harmonise their policies to support the regional cross-border payment system.
The system will streamline and secure various forms of electronic payments, including online transfers, and mobile payments.
Dr Aminah Zawedde, Uganda’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, who also doubles as the technical chair of the ICT Cluster Infrastructure Development, said once in place, the system will allow regional nationals to pay for goods and services in local currencies using merchant codes.
“We are going to ensure that we have an improved communication system and a regional communication The other area of focus is digital. We want to ensure that all services go online to ensure efficiency of governments and private sector,” she said after the meeting.
Dr Zawedde said regional connectivity is considered crucial to reduce the region’s reliance on external systems for cross-border transactions, particularly among businesses.
Ambassador Richard Kabonero, the coordinator of the Northern Corridor integration projects, said the regional payment system is part of the Eastern Africa Regional Digital Integration Project.