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ECOWAS restates commitment to the Single Currency Project

The President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Mr. Jean Claude Kassi Brou has restated the commitment of the Commission to the single currency project of the regional community.Speaking at the opening of the meeting of the ministerial committee of Ministers of Finance and Governors of Central Bank on the ECOWAS single currency programme holding on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria, Brou also reaffirmed the ECOWAS Commission’s determination to strengthen cooperation with all Member States’ Central Banks and Regional Institutions in order to meet the goals of the project.

According to Brou, the Monetary integration in ECOWAS is one of the main objectives of the regional integration programme prompting the regional leaders to decide on 2020 as the year of the launching of the Monetary Union.

A statement by the ECOWAS Commission said that Brou highlighted the areas where progress has been made since their last meeting in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on June 2019, to include the implementation of the various institutional programmes and the revised roadmap, adoption of a flexible exchange rate regime with a monetary policy framework focused on targeting inflation, the federal system as the model of the ECOWAS Central Bank as well as the choice of “ECO” as the name of the ECOWAS Single Currency.

He noted that despite the strides, much work need to be done to achieve the stated objective of the project – a strong monetary union, which can serve the economic and social development of the region.

According to the statement, expectations are high regarding the report to be presented to the Authority of Heads of State and Government on December 21st, 2019 detailing the work done on the Single currency.

It added that the report of the Experts Meeting of the Member States for the Validation of the Draft Charter of the West African Association of Supervisors (WASRA) as well as the Operating Rules of the West African Capital Markets Integration Council (WACMIC) will also be included for discussion during the summit.

President Brou stressed that a closer look should be given to ways of accelerating the implementation of the roadmap of the single currency programme by removing all difficulties.

“We need to continue to work collectively to deal in an adequate manner with those remaining challenges,” he said.

In her address, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance of Nigeria, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, harped on the importance of the ministerial meeting, noting that the region is on crossroads over the single currency programme.

She called for open, frank discussions by delegates so that the lessons learned and recommendations from the meeting will have a profound impact on the economic development of the region.

The minister stressed the need for delegates to come up with a “befitting name” for the single currency, as well as a suitable location of its Central Bank taking into consideration the terms of reference of the project.

The statement said that the meeting was attended by the Governors of the ECOWAS Central Banks, including Mr. Godwin Emefiele of Nigeria, President of the West African Economic and Monetary Union, UEMOA, Commission Boureima Abdallah, President of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, Bashir Mamman Ifo, Director General of the Monetary Agency of West Africa Mr. Momodu Bamba Saho as well as Director General of the Monetary Institute of West Africa Dr. Eunice Ngozi Egbuna, among others.  

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