What is the Regional Monetary Affairs Committee Meeting all about?

South Sudan will host a meeting of the East African Community (EAC) Monetary Affairs Committee (MAC) from Sunday April 28 through May 3.

By Okech Francis

South Sudan will host a meeting of the East African Community (EAC) Monetary Affairs Committee (MAC) from Sunday April 28 through May 3.

This comes on the back of the springs meeting the country attended mid this month in Washington DC.

Both meetings are very crucial for a country going through a dire economic situation but also focusing on key reforms to turn around the situation.

To understand exactly what the Monetary Affairs Committee meeting will bring to the table, The Dawn Newspaper talked to the Governor of the Bank of South Sudan, James Alic Garang who will be host to his counterparts from the East African region.

By virtue of President Salva Kiir Mayardit being Chairman of the East African Community, Governor Garang becomes the chairman of the Monetary Affairs Committee of the region.

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organization of six Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

According to Governor Garang, one of the functions of the Monetary Affairs Committee is to review progress on the roadmap towards the establishment of the monetary union of the East African Community.

He said it is a roadmap expected to yield fruit in the next 8 to 10 years, by 2032 or 2034 more-or-less.

There will also be technical meetings or working groups reviewing progress made in the region on monetary issues in the region.

Usually the review focuses on convergence or merging criteria and revolves around import cover- looking at gross reserves of a country and seeing its relativeness to how much imports a country can cover in a number of months, Garang said.

The East African Community always desires for an import coverage of 4.5 months for the whole region, he said.

Inflation is also an issue critically discussed with the meeting ensuring that inflation rate in the whole region is in the neighborhood of 8 percent and as well Gross Domestic Growth (GDP) in the neighborhood of 4 percent, Garang said.

Other issues like public debts achievements and harmony in the national payment systems are all part of the conference, a whole lot of positive plans and programs for the region that comes in huge benefit to South Sudan’s struggling economy.

It’s also worthwhile to note that the recently concluded springs meeting is also hugely beneficial to South Sudan.

The spring meeting is a yearly event of a joint World Bank Group/IMF Development Committee and the IMF International Monetary and Financial Committee, where progress on the work of the institutions are discussed.

The meeting brings together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organizations and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness.

Other featured events include regional briefings, press conferences, and fora focused on international development, issues of debt, economic recovery, and climate.

Governor Garang told The Dawn that the benefits of being part of the springs meeting are immense.

It can help in resource mobilization, can help in garnering high-level capacity building in key areas in the economic sector in the country as well as widens scope of consultations and networking for the country, he said.

Notably, he said, it also creates an attraction for investments in the country.

So with the current economic reforms the country is undertaking, the two events, used to the benefit of South Sudan, can greatly bolster efforts being put in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *