KAMPALA: Uganda is one of the eight countries which are benefiting from the use of the Regional Payment and Settlement System (REPSS), which eases transfer of funds within the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) in conducting business.
This system, which was introduced to facilitate the settlement of trade and services payments among member states, has so far facilitated 54 US dollar transactions amounting to $1,690,387.26 (about Shs6.2 billion). Also a total of 11 euro transactions worth €63,656 (about Shs260 million) were conducted in the period between January and June 2015.
In a communication, Comesa secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya said: “REPSS’s operationalisation by the respective central banks of participating member states will go a long way in easing the payment of goods and services.”
The other member states using this service are DR Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Swaziland and Zambia.
Some of the key benefits of using the REPSS platform are that it guarantees prompt payment for exports as well as other transfers.
The system eliminates mistrust among traders as there is central bank involvement. This in turn should increase trade within the region.
REPSS allows transactions using local currencies thus reducing dependency on dollars and euros. “This cuts on collateral requirements as central banks are directly involved in the system and trade is amongst members,” Mr Ngwenya said.