The East African Community strives to achieve deepened economic integration through an East African Monetary Union (EAMU). The protocol providing the legal basis for the EAC’s transformation into a monetary and fiscal union was signed in 2013. However, a great number of preparatory steps aimed at achieving macroeconomic convergence for all partner states are needed, before East African citizens can literally carry in their pockets the symbol of their solidarity and cooperation – the East African Shilling. Basically, all Partner States need to achieve minimum standards in areas such as fiscal policies, statistical frameworks, monetary and exchange policies, payment systems and setting up new institutions to manage the common currency.
In this context, the East African Community has now set up a working group of experts. This new the Regional Technical Working Group will go through the laws in all Partner states needed for Monetary Union and identify the gaps and necessary amendments, and draft proposals for the Partner States to agree and adopt. This is an important step towards creating the legal framework for the Monetary Union.
In its first meeting on 8 to 10 May 2017 the Task Force carried out a comprehensive review of existing protocols and studies in order to fully understand the implications for the Partner States, their governments and private sector. The experts will then identify the gaps in the Partner State laws and generate recommendations, methodologies and other guidance.
In particular, the Regional Technical Working Group addressed the EAC Secretariat to provide access to technical assistance and agreed on a matrix to be jointly for reporting on gaps and impediments in national legislation. It also developed a work program with outputs and milestones. The working group will submit its report to the EAC Sectoral Council on Finance and Economic Affairs by May 2018.