East African Monetary Union Takes Shape as EAC Monetary Affairs Committee Meets in Bujumbura
The East African Community (EAC) Monetary Affairs Committee convened its 26th regular meeting in Bujumbura, Burundi, on March 17, 2023. This was the first physical meeting held since 2019, with the previous sessions in 2020, 2021, and 2022 conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the meeting, the Committee highlighted that the region continues to face inflationary pressures, tighter financial conditions, vulnerabilities resulting from Ukraine’s conflict, poor weather conditions, and other emergent concerns. However, despite these challenges, the EAC region’s economic performance remained robust in 2022, with GDP growth of 4.5 percent.
The Committee reviewed the progress made towards the establishment of the East African Monetary Union and reaffirmed the commitment of Partner States’ Central Banks to collaborate and work with the EAC Secretariat to accelerate the implementation of activities in the revised EAMU roadmap.
One of the highlights of the meeting was the signing of a currency convertibility and repatriation supplement to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by the Governors of the EAC Partner States. The supplement aims to facilitate the free convertibility and transferability of currencies between the EAC Partner States, which will help to enhance trade and investment within the region.
Despite the positive economic outlook, the Committee acknowledged that negative risks remain elevated due to slow global growth. The EAC area is predicted to increase by 4.5 percent in 2022, owing to robust expansion in the industrial and services sectors, the alleviation of global supply chain limitations, and ongoing governmental investment.
Marie Malangu Kabedi Mbuyi, who is usually a part of the Committee, was absent from the meeting and conveyed her apologies.
The Governors welcomed the incoming Governors of Burundi, South Sudan, and Tanzania to the MAC meeting. The EAC Monetary Affairs Committee’s 26th regular meeting was a productive one, with various positive developments towards the establishment of the East African Monetary Union.
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