East Africa: Why EAC Monetary Union Could Be Delayed

East Africa's plan to have a single currency by the year 2024 could be delayed if the recommendations by the region's Sectoral Council on Finance and Economic Affairs (SCFEA) is anything to go by.

SCFEA has asked the EAC Council of Ministers to consider amending the East African Monetary Union (EAMU) protocol to grant some key institutions the independence they require to operate smoothly.

There are four critical institutions which are necessary for the implementation of a single currency regime, as provided for in the protocol for the establishment of the EAMU.

These are the East African Financial Services Commission (EAFSC), East African Monetary Institute (EAMI), East African Statistics Bureau (EASB) and the East African Surveillance, Compliance and Enforcement Commission (EASCEC).

However, The EastAfrican has learnt that EASCEC does not have the autonomy to perform its task as currently constituted, and that there is a need to review the composition of its directors. This would require an amendment to the Monetary Union protocol.

SCFEA has directed the taskforce on the EAMU Bills to review the composition of the Board of the Commission to have an independent chairperson and include private high-level professionals in addition to Permanent/Principal Secretaries from the ministries responsible for finance and economic affairs.

SCFEA also directed the EAC Secretariat to convene the meeting of the Taskforce on EAMU Bills to review the Bill on the establishment of the EASCEC in the light of the feedback from the Sectoral Council on Legal and Judicial Affairs and SCFEA for consideration by the SCFEA.

The Protocol for the establishment of the Monetary Union was signed in November 2013 by the EAC member states, setting up a roadmap for a single curency regime within 10 years.

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