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Mr. Paulo Drummond, Mr. Ari Aisen, Mr. Emre Alper, Ms. Ejona Fuli, and Mr. Sébastien Walker
This paper examines how susceptible East African Community (EAC) economies are to asymmetric shocks, assesses the value of the exchange rate as a shock absorber for these countries, and reviews adjustment mechanisms that would help ensure a successful experience under a common currency. The report draws on analysis of recent experiences and examines likely future changes in the EAC economies.
Mr. Paulo Drummond, Mr. S. K Wajid, and Mr. Oral Williams

Abstract

The countries in the East African Community (EAC) are among the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. The EAC countries are making significant progress toward financial integration, including harmonization of supervisory arrangements and practices and the modernization of monetary policy frameworks. This book focuses on regional integration in the EAC and argues that the establishment of a time table for the eliminating the sensitive-products list and establishing a supranational legal framework for resolving trade disputes are important reforms that should foster regional integration.

Mr. Xavier Debrun, Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, and Mr. Paul R Masson
This paper develops a full-fledged cost-benefit analysis of monetary integration, and applies it to the currency unions actively pursued in Africa. The benefits of monetary union come from a more credible monetary policy, while the costs derive from real shock asymmetries and fiscal disparities. The model is calibrated using African data. Simulations indicate that the proposed EAC, ECOWAS, and SADC monetary unions bring about net benefits to some potential members, but modest net gains and sometimes net losses for others. Strengthening domestic macroeconomic frameworks is shown to provide some of the same improvements as monetary integration, reducing the latter’s relative attractiveness.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
SlNCE the dissolution of the Soviet Union, most of the former member states have retained the ruble as their national currency but have followed independent monetary policies. Such a combination is not sustainable. With mounting disarray in the ruble area, each state must now quickly adopt either a common monetary policy or a separate national currency.