EAC single currency still a dream, Kanimba tells Parliament

Negotiations on the East African Monetary Union (EAMU) protocol are underway but it is clear that important basics remain to be put in place before a common currency comes into effect, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Francois Kanimba, told lawmakers on Friday. This was in response to Hon. Faith Mukakalisa, who requested the minister for an update on the matter, during an extraordinary session convened on Friday.
Francois Kanimba. The New Times / File
Francois Kanimba. The New Times / File

Negotiations on the East African Monetary Union (EAMU) protocol are underway but it is clear that important basics remain to be put in place before a common currency comes into effect, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Francois Kanimba, told lawmakers on Friday.

This was in response to Hon. Faith Mukakalisa, who requested the minister for an update on the matter, during an extraordinary session convened on Friday.

Kanimba who was tabling the revised 2011/12 budget said: “We find that for this currency to be put in place, there are many things to be made clear. There are prerequisites that must first be attained for countries that are different, have different policies”.

“When you look at member country situations in the East African Community, we are still very different that it will require more years,” he said.

Kanimba noted that the bloc is also cautious, and is thus borrowing lessons from the European crisis of late.

Mid this year, when the EAC Secretary General, Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera, hosted former German President Horst Koehler at a round table discussion in Arusha, he reaffirmed the Community’s desire to have the Protocol establishing the Monetary Union signed on time, next year.

However, even Dr. Sezibera knows that “implementation will take longer.”

In January, the EAC inaugurated the High Level Task Force (HLTF) to negotiate the Protocol to establish the EAMU which is the third stage of the EAC integration process.

james.karuhanga@newtimes.co.rw

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