An East African Community Monetary Union protocol will be in place by 2012 as per the schedule, the new EAC Secretary General has said.
“The integration agenda is speedy by design. I am confident we can have the Monetary Union Protocol signed soon,” Dr Richard Sezibera said.
“But also sure that implementation will take a longer time,” he added.
Dr Seziberawas responding to former German President
Prof Horst Koehler’s recommendation for a more relaxed timeframe for embarking on the next stage of integration.
In January, the EAC inaugurated the High Level Task Force to negotiate the Protocol that would establish the Monetary Union, the third stage of the EAC integration process.
Sezibera reiterated that although the monetary union would be in place as per the EAC plans, its implementation, just like the Customs union and Common Market Protocol (CMP), would take longer than that.
This is because the EAC partner states will need to harmonise monetary policies to accommodate a single currency, among other proposals, once the protocol is in place.
Other elements of the monetary union that need urgent attention include the harmonisation of macroeconomic elements, operationalisation of stock markets, and statistics among other issues.
“I recommend that you work very hard to remove bottlenecks to the achievement of the Customs Union and Common Market because free movement is a pre-condition for the two to be developed,” Prof Koehler said.
He also urged the region to implement protocols and agreements it had passed, and to ensure that the people of the Community fully understand the objectives of the integration.
Koehler was speaking during a visit to the EAC headquarters in Arusha last week, where he participated at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation/EAC Round Table Discussion, themed “Ambition for and Reality of the East African Community in a Globalised World”.
Source: The Standard