Governors of Central Banks in the East African Community (EAC) have commended the growth rate of regional economies, saying this has played a major role in keeping the countries stable despite the global financial crisis.
The Governors from all the five EAC partner states were speaking on Monday during the 13th meeting of the Monetary Affairs Committee (MAC), held in Arusha, Tanzania.
The objective of the meeting was to, among others, consider the progress of the EAC Common Market Protocol and monetary union, and also gauge the financial developments in the partner states.
According to an EAC press statement, they observed that, all economies in the regional bloc managed to sustain positive GDP growth in 2009, albeit lower than the convergence criteria of 7 percent.
“They also noted that, despite the global financial crisis, which led to substantial decline in export demand and slowdown in foreign direct investment and private remittances, the EAC economies remained relatively resilient,” the statement says.
They underscored the need for EAC countries to strengthen their crisis management and resolution frameworks, as a response to the financial crisis.
Among other issues discussed were; the financial market development, harmonization of regional payment and settlement systems.
Others are; addressing monetary policy and financial inclusion challenges, harmonization of regulation of micro-finance institutions, and monitoring and regulating e-banking and e-payment services among the partner states.
They also deliberated on issues related to building technical capacity to facilitate effective implementation of policies by the respective central banks.
The meeting was also attended by the EAC Deputy Secretary General (Planning and Infrastructure), Alloys Mutabingwa, and Dr. Atingi-Ego from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).