Six East African states are reportedly set to explore the possibility of using central bank digital currencies (CBDC) as an alternative to their shared payment system. The six countries, which are all members of the East Africa Community (EAC) trading bloc, are hoping this alternative will create a pathway that leads to the attainment of “a single currency for the region by 2024.”
The Moribund EAPS
The revelations of the EAC’s digital currency plan follow the bloc secretariat’s “consultancy call for a feasibility study” on the planned upgrade of the East African Payment System (EAPS). Since its launch in 2014, the EAPS has failed to function properly due to member states’ distrust of each other’s currency.
Consequently, according to a report, the EAC says the selected “consultant will conduct an exploratory scoping of such developments.” The consultant is similarly expected to conduct an exploratory scoping for “emerging technologies and their adoption, including but not limited to technologies involving the