Wednesday September 3 2014

IMF and EAC team up to develop finance data

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Kampala. The East African Community (EAC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have come together to help regional states in compiling finance statistics for their different governments.
Once done, the initiative will assist the EAC partner states meet the fiscal data requirements associated with the East Africa Monetary Union (EAMU) Protocol.
Speaking about the initiative, the EAC deputy secretary in charge of planning and infrastructure, Dr Enos Bukuku, said: “The intervention is timely in facilitating production of robust statistical data required for the establishment of the regional monetary Union and transition to EAC single currency by 2024”.
Mr Bukuku noted that GFS will be compiled in accordance with internationally agreed methodological standards, would not only provide the region with an important framework for comparing, analysing and evaluating fiscal policy, but also an opportunity to improve government and public sector performance.

Mr Barredo Capelot, the director of the Government Finance Statistics and Quality Directorate in Eurostat, while sharing lessons from the European experience that may be relevant for East Africa, said: “Solid and comprehensive fiscal statistics are essential for regional integration and preserving macroeconomic stability.”

EA monetary union
The leaders of five East African countries signed a protocol last November laying the groundwork for a monetary union within 10 years that they expect will expand regional trade.
Heads of state of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, which have already signed a Common Market and a Single Customs Union, say the protocol will allow them to progressively converge their currencies and increase commerce.
In the run-up to achieving a common currency, the EAC nations aim to harmonise monetary and fiscal policies and establish a common central bank. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda already present their budgets simultaneously every June.