Political and Regulatory Round-Up

  • 26 Jun 2023
  • 4 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Jewel Tete


MPs approve Finance Bill 2023

Members of Parliament on Wednesday, June 21 approved the proposed Finance Bill, 2023. The Bill that was passed after a third reading by the National Assembly will now be sent to President William Ruto for assention before it becomes a law. The MPs approved over 70 amendments to the Bill. Among the key contentious issues in the Bill include the housing levy which was amended to 1.5 per cent of gross pay from the initial 3 per cent. The legislators also voted to pass additional tax on fuel from 8 per cent to 16 per cent, with one hundred and eighty-four MPs voting in favour and 88 opposing. 




Stakeholders commend government plans to launch startup policy

The government’s promise to release the long-awaited start-up policy in the next three months has relieved innovators, who see the development as an important step towards supporting a vibrant entrepreneurship and innovation culture in the country. On Tuesday, June 20, 2023, during the Mwananchi Thought Leadership Forum (MTLF), organised by Mwananchi Communication Limited (MCL) the minister for Information, Communication, and Information technology, Mr Nape Nnauye, hinted that the government will release the Startup Policy, ICT Policy, Digital Public Infrastructure Blueprint, and Digital Strategy for National ICT Infrastructure Development Plan in the next three months. Mr Mike Mushi, the Founder and Managing Director of Jamii Media, commended the government’s readiness and commitment to implement the Startup Policy and potentially put Tanzanian startups on the global map. “The government’s move gives us the strength to continue to develop innovative ideas, which will create employment opportunities for many jobless graduates,” Mr Mushi said.

(The Citizen)



MPs make U-turn, approve rejected supplementary budget

Parliament on Tuesday approved a supplementary request of Shs1.3 trillion to cover emerging spending gaps in the Financial Year 2022/2023. Part of the money (about Sh274.9 billion) was needed to finance Atiak Sugar Factory in Amuru District owned by Ms Amina Hersi Moghe. The sugar factory was last year shut down over inadequate cane supply. The government through Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) owns 40 per cent shares in the factory. with a total of Shs563 billion spent on the Atiak Sugar venture, while the majority shareholder (Ms Amina) has spent Shs129 billion.




Govt moves to tax land sale transactions

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has announced that taxation on the sale of plots of land could be implemented if the new bill on land and buildings currently under discussion in Parliament is adopted. The scrutiny of the bill started last week. Richard Tusabe, the Minister of State in Charge of the National Treasury at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, said that the reforms are being carried out due to the fact that the previous law had loopholes, as land sales were never taxed despite the increasing value of land, which is attributed to the infrastructure. Some plots of land are being sold at Rwf400 million in the City of Kigali.

(The New Times)



Govt takes step to secure crucial foreign currency from IMF, World Bank

With the conclusion of the consultation on the second Home Grown Economic Reforms Agenda with the executive committee of the Development Assistance Group (DAG), Ethiopia moves a step closer to securing the much-needed foreign currency from the Bretton Woods Institutions.

In 2019, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved close to $3 billion to support the first phase of the Homegrown Economic Reform Program, which is designed to eliminate macroeconomic imbalances and lay the foundation for sustainable and inclusive growth. A source close to the issue informed Addis Standard, that the government is currently seeking comparable financial assistance from the IMF and the World Bank to that provided three years ago. Chaired by Eyob Tekalign (PhD), state minister for Finance, the consultation, which kicked off at the beginning of this week, focused on the economic reforms expected to be implemented in the next three years. The reforms under discussion include a more extensive liberalization of key economic sectors, such as the financial industry.




Martyrs’ Day is observed with patriotic zeal

Eritrea’s Martyrs Day, 20th June. was observed inside the country and abroad with patriotic zeal. At the official commemoration event, President Isaias Afwerki laid a wreath at the Asmara Martyrs Cemetery in honour and remembrance of Eritrea’s heroic martyrs. The ceremony included a public procession from Shida Square 10 to Martyrs Cemetery as well as cultural sons depicting the heavy sacrifices paid for freedom and sovereignty.




Call on ‘silent international community’ to condemn ‘heinous crimes’ in West Darfur.

Sudanese and international organisations have appealed to regional and international actors concerned with the situation in Sudan, whose response to the war in Sudan “has thus far been muted and insufficient,” to hold the warring Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) accountable for the “ethnic cleansing” currently taking place in West Darfur.

Regional and international actors concerned about the situation in Sudan, and “charged with maintaining peace and security and with long involvement in Sudan”, should “publicly denounce the RSF’s role in carrying out atrocity crimes in West Darfur,” 21 Sudanese and international organisations said in an Open Letter sent to the UN, the AU, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the EU, the USA, UK, Canada, Egypt, and the Gulf Cooperation Council on Thursday.




US pledges support to Somalia in its war against Al-Shabaab

In a resounding show of solidarity, the US government has pledged its unwavering support to Somalia’s fight against the notorious militant group, Al-Shabaab. As African Union forces prepare to exit the region, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, during a meeting with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Washington, reiterated his country’s commitment to the cause.

Austin commended the ongoing efforts against terrorism in Somalia, hailing the current phase of the Somali-led operation against Al-Shabaab in central Somalia as a success. Moreover, the US minister affirmed his country’s readiness to support Somalia in combating other threats, including effective responses to climate shocks such as the current drought.

(Radio Dalsan)