East Africa to Adopt Single Currency By June 2012

The East African Community will move to a single currency by June next year, according to EAC Secretary General, Mr Richard Sezibera, making it the second regional bloc to adopt single currency after the European Union.

The region, Mr Sezibera said, was halfway through the negotiation process, and that the High Level Task Force was doing all it can to accelerate the adoption of a monetary union.

“We are halfway in the negotiations for the protocol and the talks on the remaining items will be accelerated in the first half of 2012,” Mr Sezibera said.

Currency fluctuations

For a common currency to be adopted, the region’s member states must negotiate and agree upon a backlog of 85 articles.

So far, 15 articles pertaining to the establishment of the common currency have been negotiated and agreed on, with 24 other articles discussed in Entebbe, Uganda, last month and are subject to approval by the heads of state on Wednesday. Forty six other articles remain to be discussed.

The Secretary General said the single currency would increase the region’s global competitiveness, and stabilise currency fluctuations.

“The monetary union accompanies by economic and financial integration, fiscal discipline and macro-economic convergence criteria will enable East Africa to compete more effectively against other economic blocs,” Mr Sezibera said.