The members of the East African Community recently agreed to fast-track the economic measures necessary to meet their goal of creating a monetary union in 2012. In an email interview Steven Buigut, an expert in African monetary unions at the American University in Dubai, discussed the proposed EAC monetary union.
WPR: What are the driving forces behind the creation of the East African Community Monetary Union?
Steven Buigut: The East African Community (EAC) is a regional organization comprised of five countries: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The first three countries previously operated a currency board arrangement backed by the sterling pound that collapsed in 1966. A customs union treaty was signed 2005, and a common market has been progressively implemented since July 2010. The members are currently negotiating the protocol that would lead to the proposed monetary union (MU).