Experts from the east African Community (EAC) are meeting in Tanzania this week to set the stage for negotiations for a single currency as part of the region’s economic integration.
The EAC consists of partner states Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
The EAC Secretary General Juma Mwapachu opened the meeting of the High Level Task Force (HLTF) that will negotiate the protocol to establish a Monetary Union by emphasizing the importance of the next stage of the integration process to the region’s economy.
“The introduction of a common currency will provide a stronger and more solid basis for investment and economic growth,” Mwapachu remarked, adding, “Certainly, for an efficient and effective common market to operate, a monetary union, and not simply the free movement of capital, is essential”.
The EAC Secretary General noted that the partner states need to integrate their economies more deeply for the region to achieve the Monetary Union, the third pillar of the integration agenda after the Customs Union and Common Market.
Mwapachu also observed that a monetary union would help eliminate price instability and exchange rate volatility, which he said would translate into a competitive business environment that spurs investment flows and growth.
Heads of country delegations appointed to the HLTF were unanimous in voicing their commitment to steering the negotiations to a successful conclusion. At this week’s meeting the HLTF is expected to among others, consider and adopt the methodology of work, review and refine the draft roadmap towards the EAMU, and lastly agree on the calendar of activities for the negotiations process. Negotiations for the Protocol are slated to commence in March this year.
The HLTF comprises senior officials from the partner states Ministries of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, East African Community Affairs, as well as Central Banks, Capital Markets Authorities, Insurance and Pensions Regulatory Agencies, and National Statistics Offices.
Source: CP - Africa