The East African Community (EAC) is not ready for a common currency, a University of Oxford economist has told delegates at the ongoing monetary union summit in Arusha. Paul Collier, director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford, said that economic imbalances among EAC member countries could create regional instability similar to the current crisis facing the eurozone. The Arusha summit is a precursor to the signing of an EAC monetary union charter later this year, which is expected to pave the way for a single currency for member states. "Don't do what Europe did, you need an independent voice saying let's be careful," Prof Collier told delegates who included regional finance ministers and central bank governors. http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Economist+says+EAC+is+not+yet+ready+for+common+currency+/-/539552/1354962/-/1b4wv5/-/ A major pre-requisite for the formation of a monetary union is the establishment of a regional central bank and guaranteeing the independence of central banks of member states. Prof Collier said that the eurozone experience had shown that it is difficult to enforce spending limits among members of a monetary union such as the one proposed by the EAC. Some European Union countries reneged on agreements to maintain low budget deficits since there were no rules for enforcing fiscal discipline. Heavily indebted countries such as Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland have deepened the eurozone crisis, raising fears among lenders that their weak economic growth cannot sustain repayments. "If you are not confident of the structures for enforcing national budgets then you are not ready for a monetary union," said Prof Collier. The economies of EAC member countries are also too divergent to support a common currency, according to the widely published economist.