EAC pushes one currency agenda to 2031

By Ephraim Modi Duku Sokiri

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has extended their revised agenda on East African Monetary Union (EAMU) roadmap to 2031 new target instead of the previous target of 2024.

Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the Chairperson of the East African Regional Integration and East African Affairs Hon. Eche Likai Barri Wanji confirmed the transformation during session held earlier this week in Bujumbura, Burundi.

“The ultimate deadline for the monetary union is 2031,” he confirmed.

These changes were made after EAC member states have failed to comply in meeting a deadline for implementing the single currency protocol which was set for 2024.

“All central bank governors agreed on the fact no country has met the micro economic convergence criteria. These are in terms of inflation, budget deficits and foreign reserves,” he noted.

Mr. Likai further explained that the convergence criteria as an inflation ceiling of 8 percent, fiscal deficit ceiling of 3 percent of GDP and reserve cover of five months of imports.

The Monetary union is an agenda to ease transactions including payments among EAC citizens, by removing currency exchange challenges, as a single currency would be used across the region.

The monetary union protocol was adopted in accordance with the EAC Treaty and signed on November 2013, aiming at converging the currencies of the EAC partner states into a single currency in the community within 10 years.

Meanwhile, the process of having a single currency, the EAC partner states focus to match monetary and fiscal policies; correspond financial payment and settlement systems; harmonize financial accounting and reporting practices; and blend policies and standards on statistical data and establish an East African Central Bank.

The initiative aims at providing an enabling environment for the private sector to take full advantage of the Community through the promotion of a continuous dialogue with the private sector to help create an improved business environment and enhancing investor confidence in the region.

In trade, it will rationalize investments and the full use of established industries to promote efficiency in production, as well as harmonizing trade policies, investment incentives and product standards, with a view to promote the Community as a single investment area.

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