UPC EALA aspirant vows to push for regional currency

LIRA- The Uganda Peoples Congress [UPC] Candidate for East African Legislative Assembly [ EALA ], has pledged to champion the establishment of a single currency for the East African Community [EAC].

Fred Ebil Ebil who has been endorsed by his party, the UPC, said top on his agenda is pushing for a single currency which he said would ease trade among the EAC Partner States. Currently, each of the seven states that form the EAC use their own currencies.

Currently, efforts are underway to realise the East African Monetary Union by 2024, alongside institutions such as the East African Monetary Institute and the East African Central Bank, with Uganda and Tanzania fighting to host the latter.

The Monetary Union Protocol requires each partner state to develop a Medium-Term Convergence Programme and it was hoped that prior to entering the single currency, at least three partner states would have achieved and maintained the set performance convergence criteria for at least three consecutive years to attain and maintain macro-economic convergence.

The other key prerequisite is the full implementation of the Customs Union and Common Market Protocols to ensure sufficient trade integration and openness of labour mobility, capital mobility, and exchange rate flexibility so as to respond to economic shocks.

Ebil also pledged to advocate for the free movement of people in the EAC as well as supporting the ongoing efforts to establish the EAC political federation.

He said they have a task to accomplish and champion the East African political federation, Monetary Union, Common Market Protocol, single currency, and Custom Union.

“These were signed and the only missing gap is to champion it and make sure people get the fruits,” he said.

His comment came in shortly after trouncing seven members of the party who had shown interest in the EALA UPC primaries.

Among them include Joy Atim Ongom, Isaac Ojok Anok, Calvin Ogwang, Brenda Kinyera, Silver Oluka, and Omia Andrew.

Uganda has nine slots in the EALA and according to Article 50 of the EAC Treaty, representatives from each of the Partner States are elected by their respective national legislatures.

It also requires the said members to reflect their country’s political parties, opinions, gender composition, and other special groups.

The ruling National Resistance Movement [NRM], with the majority legislators in parliament, has six slots, leaving three for the opposition parties and independents.

Recently the Central Executive Committee [CEC] of NRM decided to retain its EALA representatives like; Mary Mugyenyi, Rose Akol, Stephen George Odongo, Denis Namara, James Kakooza, and Paul Musamali Mwasa. The decision has been criticised by some members of the party, saying it is undemocratic.

The EAC Partner States include; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC]. Somalia is also agitating to join one of Africa’s dynamic economic blocs.

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