East Africa bloc signs deal to form single currency

|By:, SA News Editor

The problems of the euro notwithstanding, the leaders of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi have signed a protocol to establish a monetary union within 10 years.

The countries, which make up the East African Community (EAC), have already established a common market and a single customs union. They now plan to harmonize their monetary and fiscal policies, and establish a common central bank.

The EAC hopes the currency union will boost trade and help them reduce their reliance on foreign aid, as well as attract foreign investment. The bloc has 135M people and major energy resources - Uganda and Kenya have discovered large amounts of oil while Tanzania has vast natural gas reserves. (PR)