East African Community secretary-general Richard Sezibera said yesterday the trade bloc's integration would not be slowed by terrorist threats and attacks. "Those who believe they can influence policy through terror are making a big mistake," he said in relation to the Saturday attack on Nairobi's Westgate Mall.
He spoke in Nairobi when he opened a twoday annual banking conference, organised by Kenya Bankers Association, that focused on regional expansion. Sezibera said the EAC secretariat has made "significant" strides in integrating the region for trade and investments.
In November, he said, it would be seeking approval from heads of state for a 10-year road map for East African Monetary Union whose draft was approved by council of ministers in July. The union's protocol aims at establishing a common currency, a central bank and a monetary institute for capacity building.
He said a single currency would be preceeded by the development of a regional financial sector, harmonization of monetary policy, integration of payment systems, among others. "Through the monetary union, we will remove the cost of having to transact in different currencies and the risk of adverse exchange rate movements for trade," he said.
"More research is however needed for us to fully understand the scope and motivation for financial integration." He however admitted that the secretariat lacked compelling power to reign in member countries dragging their feet.