Editorial: ECOWAS has set the tone; will EAC be able to follow?

ECOWAS is walking the talk, something that should cause other regional organisations to sit up and watch, especially the East African Community (EAC).
Ecowas headquarters in Nigeria. / Internet photo

As we are now used to seeing and hearing, whenever the mainstream media report about Africa, it is always gloomy.

This past week it has not been any different; former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s dramatic death in a courtroom, ethnic clashes in Mali that took hundreds, Ebola’s reemergence and a mysterious cargo of billions of new Ugandan bank notes that is begging for answers.

There was little reporting about the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) and some good news from West African countries that could see them become the first to benefit from ACFTA.

The 15-member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have announced their intention of creating one single currency to be named the Eco. All that remains is a few house cleaning matters such as creating the exchange-rate regime as well as the monetary policy framework.

ECOWAS is walking the talk, something that should cause other regional organisations to sit up and watch, especially the East African Community (EAC).

That organisation does not tolerate trouble-makers in its region; it has taken up arms against Boku Haram and other Muslim fundamentalist groups, and forcefully showed the intransigent Gambian strongman Yahya Jammeh the door.

Now they have taken the next leap of faith in their journey towards integration, though it will be curious to know what role France will play in the new currency seeing that it controls the CFA, the common currency used in its former colonies.

But definitely, this is good news from our brothers and sisters in the west. Let us hope those east and southern regional organisations will not find ECOWAS’s shoes too big to fill.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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