The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) intends to “speed up” the creation of the single currency of the organization for its implementation in 2020.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Brou, was speaking at a meeting of Finance Ministers and Apex Bank Governors on the ECOWAS single currency program. The session, which opened on Monday, 17 June 2019 is due to end on Tuesday, 18 June 2019, in the Ivorian economic capital.
“To consolidate the progress that has already been made, the Heads of State and Government have directed us to accelerate the work of monetary integration with a view to achieving in 2020, the establishment of the single currency,” Jean-Claude Brou said in his speech.
Various actions have been initiated as part of the Single Currency Roadmap. But, given the 2020 deadline, the Heads of State requested that the work of the Ministerial Committee of the Task Force be extended to all ECOWAS member countries, he added.
This extended meeting is the first meeting of this Ministerial Committee, a few days before the statutory sessions of the Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States scheduled to take place at the end of June 2019.
During this session on the ECOWAS Single Currency Program, the Ministerial Committee will review the report of the Technical Meeting held on 13, 14 and 15 June, including its proposals and recommendations for its applicability.
This should help to define the state of macroeconomic convergence, which is crucial for the creation of the currency, a special fund for financing, the roadmap, as well as the name and symbol of the future currency, and the choice of the exchange regime and the central bank model.
For the Ivorian Economy and Finance Minister, Adama Kone, the proposed single currency “is no longer a technological utopia, it is the result of a political will to respond to the aspirations of the regional organization for the last 30 years.”
In spite of the “tangible progress” made since then, he said, “the road ahead is still full of challenges.” To this end, it is necessary to “remove all internal barriers and regulatory obstacles to the free movement of goods, capital, services and people”.
The Ministerial Committee, at its fourth Session held on 17 December 2018 in Niamey, made recommendations on the adoption of a mechanism to monitor the implementation of the revised Single Roadmap for the Community.
It further recommended the subscription of the Special Fund by the contributing central banks in order to reduce the delays in the implementation of the planned activities, as well as the use of independent consultants to conduct in-depth studies on the exchange rate regime, the monetary policy framework and the central bank model.
The results of this session should be submitted to ECOWAS Heads of State and Government at their next regular session on 29 June 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria, Jean-Claude Brou went on.
The meeting brought together, among others, ECOWAS Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors, Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Representatives of Bilateral and Multilateral Institutions.