The launch of a consultation among the EAC member states to study the viability of an East African Monetary Union is a welcome bit of news.
Having watched the Euro, the EU’s common currency, equal and then overtake the dollar in value, I believe that an East African common currency will be a boon to our economies.
I remember, before the introduction of the Euro, the way the Italian lira and French Franc suffered bouts of inflation.
Now, however, because of the common currency, the Euro, the European Central Bank based in Frankfurt, Germany is the one that controls monetary policy and not each state.
This gives the Euro stability because monetary policy is made based on the larger European context, and not for narrow nationalistic reasons.
And another think that I will enjoy about any East African common currency is the fact that if I want to travel from Kigali to Mombassa, I won’t have to be swindled on each border as I switch currencies.
Lastly, I believe that having a common currency will make travel and commerce among East Africans more prevalent. In other words, it will be a win-win situation. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose.