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19.11.2008 General News

ECOWAS Frowns At G20

By Daily Guide

THE WEST African sub-region has expressed grave concern about not being invited to the Global Economic Summit recently organised in New York by leaders of the world's developed economies (the G20).

The Director General of the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA), Professor Mohamed Ben Omar Ndiaye, who spoke on behalf of ECOWAS, said the global financial crunch came as a result of the financial mismanagement by the international community, with negative effects on West Africa.

“We are left out of the G20 meeting even though we bear the brunt of the crisis,” he lamented while addressing the 17th Ordinary Joint Meeting of West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) in Abuja, Lagos on Monday.

WAMA is a specialised monetary agency of ECOWAS.

Prof Ndiaye said: “The 15-member group of WAMA countries are meeting in Abuja to deliberate on the way forward for the sub-region. We are having a financial crisis. There are problems of mistrust, fear and doubt and we hope to resolve our problems.”

Father D'escoto Brockman, President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, also condemned the summit for being selective.

ECOWAS' Director for Multilateral Surveillance, Dr. Lasane Kabore, in a speech, appealed to the delegates to deliberate with an open and objective mindset and put regional interests above national interests.

Kabore said member countries should consider themselves as one.

According to him, ECOWAS' Vision 2020, which seeks to strengthen ECOWAS through the creation of a single economic space in which people transact business and live in dignity and peace under the rule of law and good governance must be enhanced.

“The entire community and our development partners are watching as we strive towards the realization of the vision. We cannot afford to betray the confidence reposed in us. We cannot afford to fail. We cannot afford to disappoint the over 250 million people of the West Africa region.”

Kabore said in the light of the triple tragedy facing the global economy i.e. food, fuel and financial crises, there was the need for sound macroeconomic management as proposed by ECOWAS' Monetary Cooperation Programme (EMCP) adopted in 1987.

According to him, the monetary integration programme requires that ECOWAS pursues an economic and financial policy convergence programme aimed at achieving monetary and fiscal discipline and a regional convergence of economic performance.

From Business Desk

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