ECOWAS monetary agency urges fast tracking of single currency project

Posted: August 15, 2013 in general

ecowasTwo technical committees of the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) have ended their joint meeting in Accra, the Ghanaian capital with calls for the finalization of the report on the assessment of the various deadlines set for the attainment of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) single currency.

The planned single regional currency to be managed by a common Central Bank for the 15 Member States is the primary target of the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Programme (EMCP), which is monitored, coordinated and implemented by WAMA.

At their 25th joint ordinary meeting held 19-20 July 2013, the WAMA technical committees recommended that the ECOWAS Commission coordinate the activities of the working group made up of WAMA and the West African Money Institute (WAMI), to ensure that the assessment report is submitted to the Committee of Governors of ECOWAS member Central Banks at the 2013 end of year statutory meetings.

WAMA should also seek funding from the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) Committee of Governors to enable WAMI finalise its study on the status of preparedness in the WAMZ, the meeting said.

The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone constitute the six countries of the zone that agreed to create a second currency, Eco, within ECOWAS, to be used during a transition period along with the CFA franc prior to the creation of a single currency by 2020.

The WAMA committees also urged ECOWAS Member States to speed up reforms aimed at enhancing tax revenue mobilization, rationalize public expenditure especially the public sector payroll and strengthen the capacity of the mining sector.

They should also enhance good governance and ensure effective coordination between monetary and fiscal authorities.

After deliberations on two separate reports on the harmonisation of rules governing current and capital account transactions and the harmonisation of monetary policy frameworks in ECOWAS, the meeting called on the ECOWAS Commission to set up the process for the adoption of an ECOWAS Liberalization Scheme on Services similar to the one on Trade ELTS.

The Commission should also speed up the adoption, ratification and implementation process of the regional code on investment.

Mr. France Kumah, Assistant Director of the Bank of Ghana, welcomed participants and representatives of invited institutions on behalf of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, while the Director General of WAMA, Prof. Mohamed Ben Omar, expressed his appreciation for the quality of contributions and outcome of the meeting.

Institutions represented at the meeting included the ECOWAS Commission, UEMOA Commission, WAMI, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), West African Bankers Association (WABA), African Development Bank (Ghana), the Sierra Leone Ministry of Justice, the ECOWAS Parliament and Panel Kerr Forster from Sierra Leone – WAMA’s External Auditors.

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