South Sudan to Host Regional Monetary Affairs Committee Meeting

South Sudan is preparing to host the East African Community (EAC) monetary affairs committee meeting that will bring together all the governors of central banks in the region.

South Sudan’s central bank governor, James Alic Garang, announced that all the governors of the central banks from member states that form the regional body would start arriving in the country from April 26 and 27 2024 and will stay until May 3.

“So, I will be the one chairing the meeting for this. All the member states: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC (democratic republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Somalia, all our member states will come to South Sudan. The first two days will focus on technical committee meetings or working groups. They will review the progress.  Usually, the review focuses on conversion criteria,” he explained.

One of those, according to Garang, revolves around the import cover, meaning they look at the country’s growth reserve and see that relative to how many imports they can cover in several months.

“So, for EAC, they would like the whole region to have a coverage of 4.5 a month. That is one criterion. The other criteria are to ensure that the inflation rate across the region is in the neighborhood of 8%. And Growth in domestic product is expected to be in the neighborhood of 4%. And then there is the element of public debt has a percent of GDP is to be achieved”, he observed.

Garang said he would chair the meeting because the nature of his assignment allows it since the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has taken up regional assignment as the chairman of the EAC.

“As you all know, our president, his excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, is the chair for the East African Community. In a similar vein, the governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan automatically becomes the chairperson of the monetary affairs committee of the East African Community,” he stressed.

While the monetary affairs committee meetings have other critical functions, one of those is to review progress on the roadmap to where the establishment of the monetary union of the EAC.

According to Garang, the establishment of a monetary union is something expected to happen in 8-10 years from now, adding that there is a road map for establishment of the EAC monetary union.

The monetary affairs committee meeting is something held annually and the governor of the sitting chair of the regional body automatically becomes the monetary affairs committee chairperson.

The EAC is an economic grouping of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Somalia, and Uganda with headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

Chol Mawel