Dar es Salaam- Tanzania (PANA) -- Finance experts in the East African Community (EAC) will start a five-day meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, Friday to consider the p roposed road map to the establishment of a monetary union of the five member sta t es forming the bloc.
The joint meeting of the EAC Monetary Affairs Committee, Fiscal Affairs Committe e and Capital Markets, Insurance and Pensions Committee (CMIPC) will examine the final report on the establishment of the East African Monetary Union (EAMU), the EAC secretariat announced Thursday.
Participants of the first session of the meeting from 26-28 February will includ e permanent secretaries of ministries of finance, governors of central banks, he a ds of capital markets, insurance and pension institutions as well as commissione r s general of revenue authorities.
The ministerial session will hold on 2 March 2010.
According to the EAC secretariat, the meeting will also consider a proposal to s et up a high-level task force for negotiation of the EAMU Protocol; and a propos a l to establish an EAC sectoral Council of Ministers responsible for Finance.
At their Summit in 2007, leaders of the EAC member states decided to fast track achievement of the monetary union by 2012.
Following recommendations from central bank governors, the secretariat was direc ted to source for a consultant to undertake a comprehensive study on the EAMU.
After an internationally competitive bidding process, the consultancy was awarde d to the European Central Bank (ECB) that carried out the study and submitted it s report to the secretariat late last year.
â?The study addresses four main issues namely; pre-requisites for EAMU, the est ablishment of the legal and institutional framework necessary for the implementa t ion of EAMU and preparatory work for the transition to EAMU,â? said Richard Owor a Othieno, acting head of the EAC Corporate Communications and Public Affairs De p artment.
Othieno said the study includes measures to replace the national currencies with the future single currency and the operational regulatory framework for EAMU.
Following the establishment of the EAC Customs Union in 2005, and the completion of the negotiations of the establishment of the East African Common Market, whi c h is due to come into effect on 1 July 2010, the monetary union is considered as the next major stage in the East African integration process.