GOVERNMENT has proposed to establish a Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) tripartite monetary institute to help achieve macro economic stability in the region.
The institute will undertake preparatory work that will lead to the creation of a monetary union with a single currency for the entire region.
Minister of Defence Kalombo Mwansa said there is need to convert the monetary institute, which became operational on March 7, 2011 in Nairobi Kenya, into a tripartite monetary institute based on the spirit of the tripartite arrangement of harmonising efforts between regional economic communities.
Dr Mwansa said this during a joint meeting of COMESA Ministers of Finance and COMESA committee of governors of central banks.
He said Government hopes the tripartite integration process will continue in all integration agendas of the three Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
He said this follows the signing of the declaration that launched the negotiations for the establishment of the COMESA, Southern African Development Community and East African Community tripartite on July 12, 2011 in South Africa,
He urged COMESA to establish measures to foster financial stability and avoid activities driven by speculation and putting in place policy to regulate capital flows.
And speaking earlier, COMESA secretary-general Sindiso Ngwenya said the proposed COMESA tripartite monetary institute is necessary for the three RECs to harmonise activities, in areas of competition, financial and payment systems, capital markets and commodity exchanges.
Mr Ngwenya said COMESA must consider endorsing the Multilateral Fiscal Surveillance Framework to constrain and co-ordinate member states ‘fiscal policies in the interests of the stability and sustainability of integration process.
He said attention the region is receiving from international capital and private investors confirms the improved economic performance by the countries.
This is evidenced by some countries such as Zambia receiving sovereign credit rating or others being in the process of being rated by international credit rating agencies.
Mr Ngwenya urged COMESA to stay the course and avoid the temptation of policy reversals when short-term cyclical economic downturns are faced.
And COMESA says preparation for the operationalisation of COMESA Customs Union which was launched in December 2008 is on track.
[Zambia Daily Mail]