THE African Union Commission (AUC) says the continent is on course towards having a single currency.
AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said Heads of State and Government adopted the Macroeconomic Convergence Criteria in 2021 which would be implemented by the African Monetary Institute to be headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria.
Mr Mahamat also said. that Abuja, Nigeria would also be headquarters of the African Central Bank.
Mr Mahamat said this in a speech read for him by AUC Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals Albert Muchanga at the 22nd Summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Authority of Heads of State and Government in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Mahamat said the AUC had also teamed up with the African Development Bank which agreed to assist in mobilising finances for the establishment of the African Monetary Institute.
“Once it is up and running, we will expect from each member state of the African Union to report on the implementation of the Macroeconomic Convergence Criteria which are intended to promote macroeconomic convergence across the entire African Union membership.
“And on that basis, we should be moving towards a single African currency. So, this current and the future generation should start reflecting. What are we going to call this single African currency?” Mr Mahamat asked.
Meanwhile, Mr Mahamat said COMESA was thriving, citing, among other reasons, some member states like Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which were growing at rates of 6.5 per cent to 7.9 per- cent annually.
Mr Mahamat said these countries were placed among the fastest growing economies in Africa and beyond.
Mr Mahamat said COMESA Member States were also among the major tourist destinations in Africa and called for tourism development and marketing as that would position the region to move at the bottom of the global tourism value chain and generate prosperity.
Commonwealth Secretary, Patricia Scotland called for economic cooperation among COMESA Member States to mitigate against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the harsh impacts of climate change effects, instability and conflicts as well as rising inflation.
Addressing the summit virtually, Ms Scotland said it was essential for the COMESA Member States to, among other things, maximise their various potential and endowments and pledged the Commonwealth’s support towards their collective efforts.