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19.10.2004 General News

NEPAD would help empower people

By GNA

Kasseh, Oct 19, GNA-The development agenda of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) would help empower people on the continent to eradicate poverty and ensure good governance. Dr. Kojo Assan, Director of NEPAD who made this observation said it would also consolidate democracy and sound economic management in Africa.

He was addressing a forum of teachers in the Dangme West District at Kasseh near Ada.

It was aimed at educating the teachers on the benefits African nations would derive from the NEPAD initiative. Dr Assan stated that in proposing the partnership, African leaders recognised that the continent held the key to its own development and were therefore, more than determined to extricate themselves and the continent from the malaise of underdevelopment.

Dr Lanto Harding, National Co-ordinator of the National Sensitization Programme on the ECO, who used the occasion to talk on the proposed new currency, reiterated that as a common currency for five West African Countries in the sub-region, the ECO would be introduced by the West African Central Bank (WACB) in July next year.

Dr Harding named the countries as Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the Gambia, and said WACB, which would be headquartered in Accra, would be charged with the responsibility of maintaining price stability; formulating and implementing a single monetary policy for the zone; and managing the zone's foreign exchange reserves.

Turning to the advantages to be derived by member-nations, the National Co-ordinator stated that the common currency would create a larger regional market, leading to increased cross-border trade and investment.

Furthermore, he said, the ECO would lower the level of inflation, and stabilize prices, resulting from adherence to good monetary policies and financial discipline.

Concluding, Dr Harding noted that the use of a common currency would attract more foreign direct investment to the region, as a result of monetary stability and market access.

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