East African Community (EAC) central bank governors have assured the region that big progress towards the establishment of a Monetary Union is visible.
In late 2013, EAC countries (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi) signed a joint protocol setting out the process and convergence criteria for an EAC Monetary Union.
The signing of the protocol represents a step towards regional economic integration.
The signing follows ratification of the protocols for a Customs Union (2005) and the Common Market (2010). The EAC Monetary Union forecasts that a common currency, to replace the national currencies of member countries, will be introduced by 2024.
During their 21st Ordinary Meeting of the regional Monetary Affairs Committee (MAC) that was recently convened at Kampala Serena Hotel, the governors said there is progress towards establishing the East African Monetary Union.
“The legislative bills that will establish the East African Monetary Institute and East Africa Bureau of Statistics were before the East African Legislative Assembly for enactment,” they stated in their joint communiqué after the meeting.
They added that a draft bill for establishing the East African Surveillance, Compliance and Enforcement Commission was before the Sectoral Council on Legal and Judicial Affairs for consideration.
“Furthermore, drafting of the bill establishing the Financial Services Commission had commenced,” they added.
Based on the 20th ordinary MAC meeting held in Kampala on July14 last year, the governors said progress had been made in key areas.
These include; harmonising the monetary policy frameworks and exchange rate operations, rules and practices governing bank supervision and financial reporting in preparation to the East African Monetary Union.
The meeting was chaired by Bank of Uganda governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and attended by Prof Benno Ndulu, Governor of the Bank of Tanzania, Dr Patrick Njoroge, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya and John Rwangombwa, Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda.
Also part of the meeting was Othom Rago Ajak, Governor of the Bank of South Sudan who attended for the first time since the accession of the Republic of South Sudan to the EAC.
Mr Melchior Wagara, the first Deputy Governor of Bank of the Republic of Burundi and Dr Louis Kasekende, the deputy Governor Bank of Uganda also attended.
There were also representatives from the EAC secretariat, International Monetary Fund and German Society for International Cooperation.
By MARTIN LUTHER OKETCH