The East African Community (EAC) Secretary General Peter Mathuki on Thursday, January 12, announced that the seven partner States of the EAC will have a common currency by 2027.
Speaking during a five-day retreat for all EAC Staff at Maanzoni Lodge in Machakos County, Mathuki indicated that the Council of Ministers was ready to make a decision on the location of the East African Monetary institute by the end of 2023.
The East African Monetary Institute will become the precursor to the East African Central Bank and will issue the planned single currency.
“The monetary institute would allow the community to come up with a constitution that will then create a roadmap for having one currency,” Mathuki stated.
Having a single regional currency means that the power to issue national currency will be transferred from governments to a common institution, the East African Monetary Union.
According to the Secretary-General, the single currency will ease both business and the movement of persons within the region.
“It is in line with our goal to make the region borderless so that people can freely move and trade as envisioned in the Common Market Protocol,” he explained.
Mathuki also noted that intra-EAC trade had increased, with the value of intra-EAC trade in 2022 standing at Ksh1.1 trillion, up from Ksh880 billion in 2019.
The Secretary-General attributed the increase in intra-regional trade to political goodwill among the EAC Heads of State and the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions in the region, among other factors.
"High-level discussions among Heads of State had eliminated many non-tariff barriers impeding intra-regional trade and expressed hope that this and other factors would help raise the level of intra-regional trade in East Africa to at least 40% over the next five years," Mathuki indicated.
Elsewhere, on Thursday, January 12, retired President Uhuru Kenyatta met with M23 Chairman Bertand Bisimwa and other rebel leaders in Mombasa to discuss the process of settling the security situation in North Kivu as part of the East African Community (EAC) peacekeeping mission.
Plans to unit the East African Community have often been derailed by conflicts among member states.