Portability Of Social Protection Benefits Across The East African Community: A Case Study Of Kenya, Tanzania And Uganda
This paper explores the possibility of an integrated Social Protection Policy for the East African Region. It looks specifically at preexisting provisions and makes a case for the revision of those to allow for more groups of people to come under coverage especially those in the informal sector and vulnerable and marginalized groups. The research zeros in on Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as case studies of countries with Social Protection interventions and argues for the expansion of the same within the countries and in the region. Kenya stands out as a leading example for the region, as it is the only country with a Social Protection Policy and is explicitly stated as such in the East Africa Community Strategic Plan for Gender, Youth, Children, Social protection and Community Development. The key debate is anchored around the portability of benefits especially those that are of a non-contributory nature. The paper concludes by making a case for regional integration as a way of reducing barriers of movement for both individuals and, goods and services. It explores the possibility of setting up a regional organ under the auspices of the East African Community (EAC), with a mandate to coordinate and manage an integrated policy on Social Protection, geared towards setting up institutions, structures and pushing for relevant legislation entrenching Social Protection as a right for all individuals in the region.