The path towards a common currency in the EAC

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Should a common currency in the EAC come to fruition, the trade will be fueled by a reduction, albeit limited, in transaction costs, the elimination of exchange rate risk and region-wide price harmonisation – all of which will undoubtedly be underpinned by policy incentives. Monetary Union is the third stage towards EAC regional integration, capped through Political Federation. Considering individual economies are relatively small, currency harmonisation might play a significant role in improving intra-African trade. The IMF, through its chief Christine Lagarde, previously warned the EAC not to rush into a currency union, pointing to the issues faced in Europe. Interest in regional integration, including monetary, in Africa has remained intense over the decades since independence. Consequently, various regional groupings have been formed. Those initiatives were stimulated by the generally small size of individual economies. This led to a desire to promote economies of scale in production and distribution. A common currency for Africa is a long-term goal of the African Union. Africa's Intra-regional trade stands at just 15 per cent. Thus, the limited size of intra-regional trade is one of the major factors impeding Africa’s economic growth over the years. Considering individual economies are relatively small, currency harmonisation might

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