During the extraordinary African Union summit held in Kigali, Rwanda where some 44 African countries signed the deal putting in place the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa, while addressing journalist expressed his full support for the call to establish a single African currency.
“Business people said doesn’t this beg for a single currency, and in my book it certainly does,” said Ramaphosa.
Though he was open about the fact he wasn’t exactly sure how the single African currency might look like; but he said the previous proposal have pointed towards the currency being called ‘the Afro.’ There are also speculations it might even be a physical currency.
“We will begin to interface with the idea and notion of a single currency, possibly even a digital currency, and it’s possible that a digital currency will precede a real single currency because it is easier than having a proper full currency.”
Ramaphosa also pointed out the changing attitude among African leaders who were previously opposed to the idea of a single currency on the basis it will erode their economic sovereignty.
“It may take time, it may take years, but it’s interesting that something that we never spoke about in the past, we are now talking about. Because people always had a sense of sovereignty around their own currency, feeling that their currency is about their sovereignty, their nationhood, but people are now thinking beyond the borders of their own nation.”
The idea of a single currency for all African nations was first formally proposed back in 1991, with the signing of the Abuja Treaty, which also included the idea of establishing the African Economic Community.
Though at the event, South Africa failed to sign on the AfCFTA deal, as Ramaphosa was yet to get the green light to do so from the domestic stakeholders.