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ECOWAS single currency to be in circulation by 2020

ECOWAS single currency to be in circulation by 2020
Photo credit: Joe Penney | Reuters

23 Feb 2018

The Presidential Taskforce on the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme has adopted a revised roadmap for accelerating the use of the common Currency by 2020.

The Presidential Taskforce, who met in Accra, Ghana, on Wednesday, also re-affirmed the political will to meet the deadline by 2020.

The meeting, which is the 5th of such meetings to fast track the process, was attended by members of the Presidential Taskforce, comprising President Alassane Ouattara, La Cote d’Ivoire; President Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger; and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Ghana, who was the host.

Also in attendance were Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, who represented President Mahamadu Buhari; and the Governor of the Central Bank of Guinea, Mr. Lockney Babe,who represented Professor Alpha Conde, of Guinea. The meeting was graced by President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe of Togo.

In a Communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, Wednesday, the Taskforce adopted the report of the Ministerial Committee of Ministers and Governors.

The purpose of the Ministerial Committee meeting was to propose a revised roadmap to fast track the use of the Single Currency to begin by 2020.

The Taskforce acknowledged the quality of the conclusions as well as the relevance of the recommendations made by the Ministerial Committee.

Additionally, the Taskforce re-affirmed the gradual approach where Member States which attained the convergence criteria, could start the monetary union while the other countries joined later.

The Communiqué among others, re-affirmed Member States commitment to ratify and implement all relevant ECOWAS protocols and conventions.

It welcomed the progress made by the Member States and encouraged them to continue the efforts toward meeting the convergence criteria and strengthening the multilateral surveillance mechanism.

The Taskforce, however, expressed concern over the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It urged the African Union to take measures and institute workable mechanism to move towards a peaceful solution in that country.

The Members of the Presidential Taskforce agreed to hold their next meeting in Niamey, Niger, in May 2018.


Background

At the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government on 25th October, 2013, the Presidents of Ghana and Niger were appointed to oversee the creation of the single currency in a timely manner.

The two Presidents constituted a Task Force, whose membership included representatives of the President of Ghana and Niger; Ministers of Finance of Ghana and Niger; Governors of the eight Central Banks of ECOWAS member States; ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions; West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) and the West African Monetary Institute to advise them periodically on the monetary integration programme.

The membership of the taskforce was reviewed in 2015 to include the Presidents of Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria, as well as the Ministers of Finance of the two countries.

The inaugural meeting of the Presidential Taskforce was held on 20th and 21st February, 2014 in Niamey. Subsequently, two other meetings were held in Accra on 7th and 8th July, 2014, with the last meeting held in Niamey from 4th to 6th February, 2015.

The main objectives of the third meeting were to examine the revised roadmap on the realisation of the ECOWAS single currency by 2020; a proposal from the ECOWAS Commission on the creation of an ECOWAS monetary Institute by 2018; and the concern raised by the WAMZ Convergence Council on the revised macroeconomic criteria adopted by the 45th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government held in Accra on 10th July, 2014.

After the third meeting, it was agreed, amongst others that the Central Bank financing criterion be reclassified as a primary criterion because of its strategic importance to monetary and price stability. The revised roadmap on the realisation of the ECOWAS single currency by 2020 was to be costed and sources of funding identified.

Source Government of Ghana
Website Visit website
Date 23 Feb 2018
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