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Other EA Countries to ratify Monetary Union Protocol by December 2014

AFTER missing out on the July 2014 deadline for ratification of the Monetary Union Protocol, four East African Community’s (EAC) member states have until December this year to do so in order to allow for implementation process to commence.

Tanzania remains the only member state to have ratified and deposited the instrument with the EAC Secretary General before the deadline. Other members are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.

THE Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Rt. Hon Dr. Margaret Nantongo Zziwa told reporters in Dare Salaam today that she has been assured that all remaining countries would be signatories to the Protocol come December.

“Ratification process differs from country to country. Some of the countries go through a referendum-like ratification process that’s why it took longer,” She said

Dr Zziwa was optimistic that others will sign because this was a critical phase that will cement and solidify the integration process.

She commended Tanzania for being able to ratify the Protocol despite being at an important moment of re-writing the country’s Constitution.

The Speaker however cautioned that ratification was one thing; the other was enactment of various pieces of legislation to enable commencement of real implementation of the Protocol.

“As EALA we are prepared to enact these legislations and therefore call upon the Council of Ministers to expeditiously bring these Bills to the House,” She said

Monetary Union is the third stage of EAC integration which will ultimately lead the five-member bloc to adopt a single currency regime by 2024.

The EACMU was signed by the EAC Heads of State on November 30 2013 in Kampala Uganda during the 15th Ordinary Summit.

Tanzania ratified the Protocol on June 25th 2014.

The protocol will provide for a wide scope of co-operation in monetary and financial sectors among EAC members.

Under the protocol, EAC states are expected to surrender monetary and exchange rates policies to one authority leading to a single currency regime within the region.

A regional central bank whose mandate is to stabilize financial policies as well as monitoring, surveillance and enforcing compliance of all other macro finance matters will be created.

The Monetary Union will eliminate the costs related to juggling of different currencies thereby reducing transaction costs.

Written by Faraja Mgwabati