East Africa: Four Years to Go, Single Currency Still Elusive

Only four years remain for the East African Community’s Monetary Union to come into effect, and analysts now say that it is almost impossible to beat the 2024 deadline.

On November 30, 2013, EAC Heads of State signed the Monetary Union Protocol in Munyonyo, Kampala, outlining a 10-year roadmap to realise a single currency. In 2014, member states ratified the East African Monetary Union, which is the third pillar in the region’s integration process.

“Establishment of a stable Monetary Union requires a strong institutional framework to monitor and enforce convergence. For this purpose, the EAMU protocol provides for the establishment of four support institutions,” said Pantaleo Kessy, head of monetary and fiscal affairs at the EAC secretariat.

The institutions are the East African Monetary Institute, the East African Statistics Bureau, the East African Surveillance, Compliance and Enforcement Commission, and the East African Financial Services Commission.

However, governments in the region are still harmonising the policies required to attain a single currency by 2024.

“The remaining period of four years is not realistic to implement the Monetary Union protocol because there is little that has been done by partner states towards harmonising domestic policies and laws,” said former EAC deputy secretary general Jean, Claude Nsengiyumva.

Mr Nsengiyumva told The EastAfrican that even though member states have been slow to fully implement the protocols, the signing should go on.