West African Countries Commit To Single Currency By 2020 At ECOWAS Meeting
ECOWAS leaders have reaffirmed their political will to meet the ECOWAS single currency Programme deadline by 2020.
The leaders made the commitment at the Fifth Meeting of the Presidential Task Force on the ECOWAS single currency programme in Accra.
Speaking at the meeting, President Akufo-Addo said “We remain determined to have a single currency which will help remove trade and monetary barriers, reduce transaction cost, boost economic activity and raise the living standard of our people. It is a goal, we must achieve.”
He charged the leaders to work at achieving the convergence criteria required for the implementation of the ECO and also remove hurdles that will impede the smooth introduction of the currency.
In a final communiqué issued after the meeting, the leaders;
a. reaffirmed their political will to meet the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme deadline by 2020 ;
b. reaffirmed Member States commitment to ratify and implement all relevant ECOWAS protocols and conventions;
c. reaffirmed the gradual approach where Member States which meet the convergence criteria can start the monetary union while the other countries can join later;
d. 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;
e. adopted the revised roadmap for accelerating of the creation of the ECOWAS single currency by 2020;
f. instructed all the stakeholders to implement the revised roadmap
g. reaffirmed their commitment to fund the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme by Member States and their Central Banks.
The four primary criteria to be achieved by each member country are: A single-digit inflation rate at the end of each year, a fiscal deficit of no more than 4% of the GDP, a central bank deficit-financing of no more than 10% of the previous year’s tax revenues and gross external reserves that can give import cover for a minimum of three months.