LUSAKA (Reuters) – A senior official from the African Union (AU) has said that the continental body was on course with its plans to introduce a single African currency.
Albert Muchanga, the AU commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, said leaders of member countries adopted the macroeconomic convergence criteria in 2021 as part of efforts toward having a single currency.
He said in remarks delivered during the 22nd Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Heads of State and Government Summit that the criteria will be implemented by the African Monetary Institute whose headquarters will be in Nigeria.
He said the African Development Bank (AfDB) has since agreed to help the AU in mobilizing resources for the establishment of the African Monetary Institute.
According to him, once the African Monetary Institute starts operating, all AU member states will be expected to report on the implementation of the macroeconomic convergence.
Earlier Kenya President William Ruto expressed concern that disparities in currencies were posing as a barrier to the promotion of intra-Africa trade.
While acknowledging that there has been the introduction of several regional payment infrastructures on the continent, the Kenyan president said the lack of a single system that seamlessly facilitates trade as well as varying currencies were obstacles that needed to be tackled.
“Trade cannot take place without efficient and unified payment systems,” he said.