Kenya’s President Ruto proposes single currency for Africa
LUSAKA, Zambia – Kenya’s President William Ruto called on Thursday for the introduction of a single African currency to ease trade on the continent.
Delivering his maiden speech at the 22nd Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) heads of State and Government Summit in Lusaka, Zambia, Ruto said that regional integration meant that citizens would not have to worry about which currency to trade in.
“Our people cannot trade without worrying about which currency to use. This, among other non-tariff barriers, is something we must urgently address so that our people can begin to trade together and integrate,” he said.
The summit ran under the theme “Economic integration for a thriving COMESA anchored on green investment, value addition, and tourism.”
Addressing the summit, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera said the region could no longer lose more time in the quest to attain regional integration.
“The potential for intra-COMESA trade is colossal; the demand for value-added products is bound to keep growing well into the future, meaning we cannot lag behind any longer in the quest to attain regional integration,” said Chakwera.
COMESA chairman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the president of Egypt, said the bloc had a market of 580 million citizens with a combined gross domestic product of more than $720 billion, leaving no excuse as to why trade should not be enhanced.
Al-Sisi called for member states to collaborate in building infrastructure that would ease the movement of goods and people in the region to promote integration.