Regional negotiations on establishing the East African Monetary Union (EAMU) began on Monday with officials expressing hope that the union will accelerate economic growth in the region.
On the first day, the preparatory meeting of the High Level Task Force (HLTF) also appointed sub committees that will be in charge of negotiations on various topics of the Monetary Union.
Dr. Thomas Kigabo, the head of the Rwandan delegation to Arusha, yesterday said that the first day of the meeting had appointed subcommittees on topics like harmonization of statistics as well as those on monetary and policy issues.
“The subcommittees are now in place and we shall in the coming days discuss how we shall organize the next meeting,” he said by phone yesterday.
The EAC Secretary General Juma Mwapachu, emphasized during the meeting, the importance of the Monetary Union to the region’s economy.
“The introduction of a common currency will provide a stronger and more solid basis for investment and economic growth,” Mwapachu remarked, adding,
“Certainly, for an efficient and effective common market to operate, a monetary union, and not simply the free movement of capital, is essential.”
He added that the partner states need to integrate their economies more deeply for the region to achieve the Monetary Union, the third pillar of the integration agenda after the Customs Union and Common Market.
The EAC chief observed that a monetary union would help eliminate price instability and exchange rate volatility, which he said would translate into a competitive business environment that spurs investment flows and growth.
At this week’s meeting, the HLTF is expected to, among other things, consider and adopt the methodology of work, review and refine the draft roadmap towards the EAMU, and lastly agree on the calendar of activities for the negotiations process.