The African Union, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has said in a statement that economic experts, meeting in the Cameroonian capital, Yaounde, on 15 December, would review monetary policies in application within the various economic groupings of the continent before arriving at a possible single African currency, seen as a crucial step towards continental integration.
The main goal of the Yaounde meeting, which is to act as the First Congress of African Economists on Regional Integration, is to suggest a roadmap towards the adoption of a single currency after brainstorming on the advantages and inconveniences within each of the regional economic blocs (REC). They will also identify the optimal approach toward establishing the African Central Bank.
The team of experts will also make recommendations to the decision organs of the AU, among others, while the recommendations of the Congress will be submitted to the Conference of African Ministers of Economy and Finance and subsequently to the Assembly of Heads of State and Government for consideration and adoption.
Although the timeframe for this action has not yet been specified, the AU statement reiterated the project’s importance. “The building of the African Economic Community is currently one of the major concerns of the African Union Commission,” the statement said.
It said in order to succeed in this noble and historic enterprise, the authorities of the Pan-African organization have set many initiatives in motion, among which are the rationalisation and consolidation of the RECs; the acceleration of the establishment of the institutions provided for in the Constitutive Act of the African Union, including the African Central Bank, with the mission of minting the single African currency; the African Monetary Fund and the African Investment Bank.
African Central Bank Governors, academicians and researchers, national and regional association of economists; representatives of the RECs, Association of African Universities, the African Development Bank (ADB) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) are all expected to attend the talks.