Central Bank Governors from the East African Community (EAC) partner states meeting under the chairmanship of Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, the Governor of Bank of Uganda have resolved to work together to achieve a regional monetary union that should enable citizens of partners states use one currency.
The Governors who form the EAC Monetary Committee announced the resolution through a communique issued in Kampala, where they held the 21st Ordinary Meeting focusing mainly on the progress of the past commitments and the recent economic developments in the partner states.
‘Inspite of the challenges, governors reiterated their commitment to the harmonisation process and will continue working together to achieve regional monetary union’, part of the communique read.
The meeting was attended by other representatives from the EAC Secretariat, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Germany Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).
The EAC comprises countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, each with its own currency, but this arrangement, analysts say, is partly responsible for the high cost of doing business in the region as traders have to convert their currencies into dollars so that they can trade easily across borders.
According to the communiqué, there is progress in the harmonisation of monetary policy frameworks, monetary and exchange rate operations, rules and practices governing bank supervision and financial reporting.
The Governors also noted that there has been modernisation and integration of the payment systems, among other developments.
They said the bills to establish the East African Monetary Institute (EAMI) and East African Bureau of Statistics (EABS) were before the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) for enactment.
EAMI if, established will enhance cooperation between national central banks of the partner states with a view of establishing the conditions necessary for the realization of the monetary union while the EABS will be in charge of regional statistics for better planning.
They further pointed out the progress on the draft bill to establish the East African Surveillance, Compliance and Enforcement Commission, which they said was before the Sectoral Council on Legal and Judicial Affairs for consideration.
More so, they added that the drafting of the bill establishing the Financial Services Commission has commenced.
Other Governors at the meeting included Prof. Benno Ndulu (Tanzania), Dr Patrick Njoroge (Kenya), John Rwangomba (Rwanda), Othom Rago Ajak (South Sudan) and Dr Melchioe Wagara, the Burundi First Deputy Governor.