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The East African Community (EAC) is concluding a one-week compilation workshop on Harmonising Balance of Payments Statistics for its Member States, in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. The workshop that started on 8 February 2016, is funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) under the Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative (EDDI) 2 project, and is being implemented by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The experts facilitating in this workshop include Ms. Cornelia Hammer and Ms. Rut Trisilowati from the IMF Statistics Department, and Mr. Kenneth Egesa, regional expert for External Sector Statistics from the Bank of Uganda. It is coordinated by Mr. Samuel Njuru, who is a Statistician at EAC.


The purpose of this project is to provide training through a series of workshops and technical assistance as required for harmonization of Balance of Payments in the EAC, which is expected to lead to the East Africa Monetary Union in 2025. All the five Member States of the EAC, namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, are members of MEFMI. It is envisioned that at the end of this five year project in 2020, all the five countries will be compiling and reporting Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Statistics (BOP/IIP), following the Sixth Edition of the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6) methodology, on a quarterly basis and with timeliness of one quarter’s lag. In addition, it is expected that all these countries will be participating in the IMF’s Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS) and Quarterly External Debt Statistics (QEDS) reporting initiatives. 


MEFMI is being represented in this workshop by Ms. Vivian Namugambe, Programme Manager responsible for capacity building activities in the area of External Sector and Regional Integration. MEFMI was invited to participate in this workshop by the IMF Statistics Department, following the long standing cooperation between the two institutions. In this workshop, Ms Namugambe made a presentation on the substantial amount of work that MEFMI has done towards the harmonisation of external sector statistics in the region, mainly through the MEFMI Foreign Private Capital Monitoring and Analysis Capacity Building Programme (MEFMI FPC-CBP).


This workshop has specifically focused on the compilation of the goods and services account of the BOP. It involved breakout sessions where the IMF, MEFMI and EAC helped the countries to draw out work plans for closing existing gaps, which countries are expected to have fully implemented by July 2017. Through technical assistance to these countries where needed, MEFMI and IMF will work together to ensure that the countries fully implement these work plans. MEFMI’s involvement in this harmonisation process of External Sector Statistics in the EAC region will go a long way in strengthening efforts of the Institution in mainstreaming regional integration in its activities.