Arusha — The East African Community (EAC) has designated July 1 as the takeoff date for the East African Monetary Institute (EAMI).
Operationalization of the institute will set the Community on a journey towards the single currency economy. This was announced late yesterday by the EAC Secretariat, a few hours before the regional summit of the Heads of State.
The Monetary Institute is a precursor to the envisaged East African Central Bank. The two bodies are all articulated under the East African Monetary Union Protocol, one of the four pillars of regional integration.
Operationalization of the Eami in July is among the deci- sions made by the EAC Council of Ministers during its meeting on Thursday. The ministers directed the EAC Secretariat to initiate the process of identify- ing the institute's host country.
A partner state that will host the institute must offer and pay for the earmarked space for the first two years. A statement issued by the Secretariat after the ministerial meeting said Eami would only be a transitional mechanism to the regional bank.
"The East African Central Bank which will issue the single currency is expected to be in place by the end of 2024," it said.
Road path to the creation of Eami started in Kampala February, 2018 when the Heads of State directed that its establishment be expedited.
The Bill for the establishment of the institute was assented by the EA presidents during their last summit in Arusha on February 1, 2019.
On the proposed main- streaming of the East African Development Bank (EADB) into the EAC structure, the Council urged the Bank's Governing Council to consider the EAC development plans while setting the bank's priorities.
The ministers urged Partner States who are not members of the East African Development Bank (EADB) to formally seek admission by acquiring shares.
At the moment, only Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania are shareholders in the bank. Burundi and South Sudan are not members.
The Council maintained the current arrangement, whereby the EADB Governing Council approves the appointment of external auditors, since this is the best practice. The ministers urged the EADB Governing Council to annually inform the Summit on the performance of the Bank.
On ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the Council urged Burundi, South Sudan and Tanzania to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) by June 30, 2021.