The leaders of five East African countries signed a protocol on Saturday laying the groundwork for a monetary union within 10 years that they expect will expand regional trade.Heads of state of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, which have already signed a common market and a single customs union, say the protocol will allow them to progressively converge their currencies and increase commerce.In the run-up to achieving a common currency, the East African Community (EAC) nations aim to harmonize monetary and fiscal policies and establish a common central bank. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda already present their budgets simultaneously every June.The plan by the region of about 135 million people, a new frontier for oil and gas exploration, is also meant to draw foreign investment and wean EAC countries off external aid."The promise of economic development and prosperity hinges on our integration," said Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta."Businesses will find more freedom to...
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