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East Africa seeks to establish a monetary union

06 Aug

Five east African countries have signed a protocol to establish a monetary union, in a first step towards creating a single, common currency.At a summit in Kampala, leaders from Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda signed the framework agreement modelled after the eurozone.

Besides delivering a single currency, the monetary union is designed to result in the free movement of workers, goods, services and capital within the five countries that between them have population of 135m.

The group says it would also establish a customs union that is due to start functioning next year.This move according to the president of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta will eliminate cost of juggling different currencies and unlock the promise of integration within th East African community.

Participating countries would each have to meet macro-economic criteria such as inflation targets. Moreover, a central bank for the bloc would have to be established.

The east African agreement comes 21 years after the European Union’s Maastricht Treaty was signed that led to the introduction of the Euro as Europe’s common currency.


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