Travelling across east Africa will soon be one of the easiest things to do with the latest PSSIP development.
PSSIP is the Payment and Settlement Systems Integration Project. Residents of the 5 East African countries will be able to not only travel freely within the region but also use their local currency in any of the countries. They will also be able to make cross border cash transactions in real time.
The PSSIP is meant to bridge transaction gaps between member states of the EAC by introducing a seamless pay system to propel into realisation the East African Monetary system that was proposed.
This is a good thing for tourism in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. Tourists both local and foreign will not have to keep changing currencies from country to country. Tourist on gorilla safaris between Uganda’s Bwindi and Virunga for example will not be inconvenienced with the need to change currencies when they cross from Uganda to Rwanda. So will visitors hoping for a Tanzania Safari in the Serengeti, and on to the Masai Mara in Kenya.
The project connects the central banks of all five countries using a unique networking technology. Speaking at the EAC-PSSIP launch recently, Kenya’s central bank Governor Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u said that the system is enhancing cross-border payments systems throughout the region.
Dr Natu El-Maamry Mwamba, of the Central Bank of Tanzania (BOT) was of the view that the EAC Payment and Settlement Systems Integration will add value to East African local currencies and safe travellers especially tourists the burden of having to change currencies every time they cross and east African border a sentiment shared by many. Each of the five members of the EAC was well represented at the launch, and they all seemed to approve and look forward to the benefits of this new development.
The changes happening in the EAC in the past year have all been geared towards achieving solidarity, integration financial cohesion and growth. All these new programs such as national currencies working across borders, the single tourist visa, and the joint fights against poaching will push the economies of these countries forward. Oone thing to note is that Tourism in these countries has improvement because of all these joint efforts in promoting economic development and investment. Tourist are often drawn to destinations with exciting safaris but also less bureaucracy, and EAC is going out of its way to reduce on the bureaucracy in the region with its new programs and initiatives.