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Design and Implementation of a Common Currency Area in the East African Community

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  • Thomas Kigabo RUSUHUZWA
  • Paul Robert MASSON

Abstract

The East African Community (EAC) has fast-tracked its plans to create a single currency for the five countries making up the region, and hopes to conclude negotiations on a monetary union protocol by the end of 2012. While the benefits of lower transactions costs from a common currency may be significant, countries will also lose the ability to use monetary policy to respond to different shocks. Evidence presented shows that the countries differ in a number of respects, facing asymmetric shocks and different production structures. Countries have had difficulty meeting convergence criteria, most seriously as concerns fiscal deficits. Preparation for monetary union will require effective institutions for macroeconomic surveillance and enforcing fiscal discipline, and euro zone experience indicates that these institutions will be difficult to design and take a considerable time to become effective. This suggests that a timetable for monetary union in the EAC should allow for a substantial initial period of institution building. In order to have some visible evidence of the commitment to monetary union, in the meantime the EAC may want to consider introducing a common basket currency in the form of notes and coin, to circulate in parallel with national currencies.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Kigabo RUSUHUZWA & Paul Robert MASSON, 2012. "Design and Implementation of a Common Currency Area in the East African Community," Working Papers tecipa-451, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-451
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    File URL: https://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/tecipa-451.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. MacKinnon, James G & Haug, Alfred A & Michelis, Leo, 1999. "Numerical Distribution Functions of Likelihood Ratio Tests for Cointegration," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(5), pages 563-577, Sept.-Oct.
    2. Christopher S. Adam & Pantaleo Kessy & Camillus Kombe & Stephen O’Connell, 2012. "Exchange Rate Arrangements in the Transition to East African Monetary Union," CSAE Working Paper Series 2012-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Lars Jonung & Fredrik Sjöholm, 1999. "Should Finland and Sweden Form a Monetary Union?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 683-700, July.
    4. Kishor, N. Kundan & Ssozi, John, 2009. "Is the East African Community an Optimum Currency Area?," MPRA Paper 17645, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Enders, Walter & Hurn, Stan, 1994. "Theory and Tests of Generalized Purchasing-Power Parity: Common Trends and Real Exchange Rates in the Pacific Rim," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 179-190, June.
    6. Buigut, Steven K. & Valev, Neven T., 2005. "Is the proposed East African Monetary Union an optimal currency area? a structural vector autoregression analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 2119-2133, December.
    7. Xavier Debrun & Catherine A Pattillo & Paul R Masson, 2010. "Should African Monetary Unions Be Expanded? An Empirical Investigation of the Scope for Monetary Integration in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 10/157, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paluku Kazimoto, 2014. "The Role of Single currency for Countries Economic Development: a Case Study of the East African Community," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 4(2), pages 136-143, April.
    2. Asongu, Simplice & Nwachukwu, Jacinta & Tchamyou, Vanessa, 2017. "A summary of a survey on proposed African monetary unions," MPRA Paper 79637, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Laetitia Lepetit & Clovis Rugemintwari & Frank Strobel, 2015. "Monetary, Financial and Fiscal Stability in the East African Community: Ready for a Monetary Union?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(8), pages 1179-1204, August.
    4. Simplice Asongu & Jacinta Nwachukwu & Vanessa Tchamyou, 2017. "A Literature Survey On Proposed African Monetary Unions," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 878-902, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    EAC monetary union; fiscal surveillance; optimum currency areas; parallel currencies; regional integration;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements

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