While I read Moin Siddiqi's finance story with great interest (A Single African currency in our time? African Business May 2006 issue), by the time I reached the end of this excellent article I was left with the distinct impression that achieving the very laudable objective of African monetary union is about as likely as a pig flying from Cape Town to Cairo.
The problem with all these regional economic communities and monetary zones is the disproportionate strengths of the various member states. Just as Ecowas, and in fact the West Africa region as a whole, is dominated by Nigeria's huge economy, so is Comesa's by that of Egypt. My own region is SADC and even though the SADC headquarters is based in my home town of Gaborone, it is South Africa's giant economy that completely overshadows this economic community.
South Africa's economy vastly outweighs even the sum total of its fellow member states. The total GDP of the SADC region is somewhere short of $300bn--and South Africa accounts for some $265bn of that.
So, while I am no banker, in my opinion the only way that a...