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February 5, 2023
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African economic activists call for a similar currency

By Ddungu Davis Joel

Economic Activists within Africa under their umbrella body Africa Rising, have raised concerns for African countries to fast track moves of coming up with a one single currency to boost doing business in Africa.

Panelists during the 3 days the All African Movement Assembly, gathered in the city of Arusha, Tanzania, led by the former deputy president of Gambia, H.E. Fatourmata Jallow Tambanjang, noted that African heads of states lack enough political will, in the matter visa vie its adequacy to development.

H.E Jallow Tambanjang, also noted that this move shall help in fast tracking the development of the continent but it’s seriously trashed by foreign super power countries.  

Since the early 2000s, the Economic Community of African States has been pursuing a common currency agenda, centred on the “eco,” with the intention of reducing barriers to doing business across the region and increasing trade overall.

While the implementation of the new currency has been postponed due to hurdles in macroeconomic convergence across the countries and the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, among other challenges, many policymakers remain keen to forge ahead, with implementation now tentatively set for 2028.

However, the effort comes with significant costs along with operational challenges and transitional risks.

As Europe has seen with the euro, even regions with strong institutions struggle to balance politics, public opinion, and monetary policy.

“Moreover, in Africa, it is uncertain whether the benefits of this will be spread evenly across the community given the disparate levels of development and various sizes of the national economies involved” experts advised.

Dorice John Mgetta, the Tanzania board member Tantra, says there are some skeptics of the project, noting that many of the hoped-for benefits of the shared currency will require an accompanying set of fundamental reforms, including stronger domestic institutional and macroeconomic frameworks.

Ernesto Yeboah, the leader of the Economic fighters League, says that for African states, to stop the tendency of fake notes, they need to opt for an African bank that must be accountable for printing the notes across the continent and to minimize inflation.

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