East Africa Moves Towards Common Currency


view geneva; font-size: small;”>The Monetary Union Protocol seeks to establish for the 5 East African counties a singular currency and Central Bank as well as other institutions like the EA Monetary institute.

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visit geneva;”>These developments were revealed by Uganda’s state minister in charge of East African Community Affairs Hon Shem Bageine, in a memorial lecture for late Hon Eria Kategaya on Thursday.

“We have concluded a meeting of the Sectoral Council on the EA Monetary Union which agreed on the protocol for establishment of the Monetary Union,” he said.

Bageine revealed that the draft protocol is currently under consideration by the Sectoral Council on Judicial affairs which is meeting in Bujumbura for legal input.

Later on it would be submitted to the Council of Ministers for consideration before being presented to the EAC Heads of State for signing come November 2013.

This development comes high on heels of several warnings from experts including the International Monetary Fund that the EAC Monetary Union could fail due to weak implementation at earlier stages of the integration.

The minister, however, expressed concern over delays in implementation establishment of a regional common market, initially envisioned to grant a number of rights and freedoms to East African citizens like free movement across borders together with goods, services and other factors of production.

“The pace of implementation of the common market hasn’t been up to the mark owing largely to delays in alignment of national laws to facilitate these rights and freedoms,” he noted.

The 5 countries have not yet amended and aligned their immigration and other aspects of national laws such as the Employment Act, and as a result, restrictions still exist on free movement of people, goods and services as they demand working permits.

Bageine added that some ministers have also not provided the necessary resources including funds to implement the various commitments under the common market protocol.

Implementation of the EAC Customs Union, the minister added, has also not been fully realized due to a number of ‘physical challenges and other procedural bureaucracies.


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