SADC ponders one currency

welshman_ncube.jpegTHE Southern African Development Community (SADC) is set to meet and deliberate on the adoption of a single currency to be used for trading by member States, Zimbabwean Minister of Industry and Commerce, Welshman Ncube (pictured) has said.

Ncube was quoted by the Africa News at the weekend saying the issue of adopting a single currency was a collective effort by all member States and would soon be debated by the ministers of trade and heads of State.

He said the regional trading blocs ministers of trade and heads of State deliberated on the issue when they met in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and would soon meet to further the issue of adopting a single currency.

This issue falls under one of SADCs programmes which saw the setting up of the Preferential Free Trade Area in 2008, the Customs Union in 2010 and the Monetary Union by 2016.

We are, however, going to deliberate about rescheduling it (monetary union), Ncube said.

The proposed ministers of trade meeting is set for tomorrow and Wednesday this week with the heads of State scheduled to meet in October.

Both meetings are reported to have been crafted solely for this contentious issue of a single monetary denomination.

South Africas central bank governor Tito Mboweni was recently quoted as saying Southern African countries had fallen behind targets that would allow them to adopt a single currency by 2016.

Countries in the region have met convergence criteria on curbing inflation and government spending, Mboweni said at a conference hosted by the University of Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa recently.

The 15-member nations of the SADC, a regional trading bloc, agreed to form a common central bank and adopt a single currency by 2016.

To achieve that, countries were required to reduce their budget deficits to five per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) last year and bring inflation down to below 10 per cent.

Rising food prices and the global financial crisis pushed the targets out of reach for most countries in the region.

We are very much behind schedule. Inflation increased at an alarming rate in 2008 due in part to pressures from food and oil, Mr Mboweni said.

SADC comprises South Africa, Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Times of Zambia

Post published in: Economy

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