ECOWAS Currency Meeting Underway In Accra
Ghana will today host and chair the fifth meeting of the Presidential Task Force on the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme.
In attendance would be the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari; President of Cote d’Ivoire, Allassane Ouattara and the Nigerien leader, Issoufou Mafiamadou.
Also in attendance would be governors of central banks and foreign and finance ministers from the ECOWAS region.
The Presidential Task Force meeting would be preceded by two meetings – the sixth Technical Meeting of the Presidential Task Force, 17-18 February, 2018 and the 2nd Ministerial Meeting of the Presidential Task Force, 19-20 February.
The technical meetings would be attended by representatives of the Ministries of Finance and Economy of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria, Central Banks of ECOWAS member states and the regional institutions involved in the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Programme (EMCP), namely, the ECOWAS Commission, UEMOA Commission, West African Monetary Agency (WAMA), West African Monetary Institute (WAMI), BCEAO and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
The meetings would, among other things, provide member countries with a common platform to deliberate on issues relating to the ECOWAS single currency programme and consider or adopt a revised roadmap to accelerate the creation of the single currency by 2020.
The last meeting of the Presidential Task Force on the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme was held in Niamey, Niger, in October 2017.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the one-day meeting in October 2017, the members of the taskforce took note of the report of the Ministerial Committee meeting held earlier, and acknowledged the quality of the conclusions, as well as the relevance of the recommendations made, which substantive parts relate to the measures for the acceleration of the ECOWAS single currency programme.
The taskforce appreciated the progress made by all ECOWAS institutions involved in the conduct of ECOWAS Single Currency Roadmap activities, and reaffirmed its commitment to the pursuit and the acceleration of the economic, financial and monetary integration agenda of ECOWAS.
Endorsing the main recommendations of the Ministerial Committee, the taskforce urged the member states to pursue the structural reforms of their respective economies to help them deal with fluctuations in the prices of raw materials and enable their economies to be more resilient to exogenous shocks.
Additionally, the taskforce urged member states to take the necessary measures, including the attainment of the convergence criteria, necessary for the creation of the ECOWAS single currency by 2020.
The communiqué averred that the taskforce had “instructed the Ministerial Committee to meet within three months to propose a new roadmap to accelerate the creation of the single currency by 2020. In this framework, a gradual approach can be undertaken, where a few countries, which are ready, can start the monetary union, whilst the other countries join later.”
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent