A large number of states internationally have turned to National Qualifications Frameworks (NQF) to enhance quality and relevance of their education and training sector. As limited research is conducted on such developments in Africa, this study draws the attention to East Africa, more specifically the member states of the East African Community (EAC). The study sets out to examine if the NQF policy has reached the region, explore how the policy is justified, and examines the prospects of fulfilling the expected benefits of the policy. By using a mixed methods research design, with a quantitative content analysis of official documents and qualitative semi-structured interviews, the study reveals that all the studied EAC member states are planning and implementing qualifications frameworks. The study further revealed that an East African regional qualifications framework is emerging. To examine how the states justify adoption of the NQF policy, a model of NQF developed by Allais (2010) with eleven typical rationales are applied to guide quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis. The operation show that East Africans states justify NQF in similar ways to existing NQFs, however some nuances are observed. An analysis of the prospects of achieving the benefits follows, where experience from established NQFs and contextual factors are seen as two factors that can indicate the prospects. The experience from other NQFs, show that qualifications frameworks are difficult to implement and achieving the goals of the policy are limited. The study further argues that some East African contextual factors may be a further threat to successful implementation of NQF in the region, where the analysis identifies challenges and some pitfalls to be avoided based on existing literature. To further enhance understanding of why the policy has diffused to East Africa, an analysis of Carnoy s (1999) three reform types are compared to NQF concepts. The analysis suggests that the policy is attractive to states as it responds to mechanisms of globalization, which provides theoretical understanding of the underlying rationales states have for adopting NQF.