States of the East African Community (EAC) are set to commence using a single currency by 2024.
Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda already decided they will merge their respective shillings with Rwanda and Burundian Francs to form the single legal tender for the bloc in two years.
South Sudan is also expected to lose its relatively valuable pound, to come up with the envisaged EA currency.
Further, the EAC will form the East African Central bank, to be housed in Uganda.
Currently, the East African Community Partner States are harmonizing critical policies and setting up the requisite institutions to attain a single currency for the region as outlined in the EAC Monetary Union Protocol.
EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko says the Bill for the establishment of the East African Monetary Institute (EAMI) had already been assented to by the Summit of Heads of State. The EAMI will later be transformed into the East African Central Bank set to issue the single currency.
“The establishment of this institute will help to provide impetus towards the formation of the East African Monetary Union, which is the third pillar of our integration,” Mfumukeko said.
According to Mfumukeko, the Council of Ministers has already approved the EAC Domestic Tax Harmonization Policy. The proper implementation of the policy will shrink tax competition thereby boosting cross-border trade and investment in East Africa.
Addressing the financial sector, the Secretary General said the Community has developed requisite legal instruments (Bills) for the insurance and microfinance sub-sector.
It has also put in place strategies for implementation of financial education and insurance certification.
“Further, we implemented the financial market infrastructure for payment and settlement systems as well as finalized regional regulations for portability of pension benefits and consumer protection,” he added.
EAST AFRICAN COURT
So far, sub-registries opened in the Partner States’ capital cities have elevated the visibility of the East African Court of Justice and lowered the costs of litigation and access to justice to the citizens of the Community.
“The residents can now easily take advantage of the Court and have their disputes resolved. In addition, the finalization of the review of the EACJ Rules of Procedure in 2019 will now provide seamless procedures to the benefit of the litigants,” says Mfumukeko.