In order to facilitate trade across the continent, Kenya’s President William Ruto advocated for the creation of a single African currency on Thursday.
Ruto remarked in his first speech that regional integration meant people wouldn’t have to worry about which currency to trade in at the 22nd Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) heads of State and government summit in Lusaka, Zambia.
“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.
Egypt’s president and COMESA chairman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi claimed that with 580 million people in the market and a combined GDP of more than $720 billion, there was no justification for not promoting trade.
Al-Sisi urged member nations to work together in creating infrastructure that would facilitate the passage of people and goods within the region in order to advance integration.