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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

West Africa’s Economic Bloc Resumes Talks on Single Currency Regime

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By Festus Poquie

Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission has implored members of the Convergence Council discussing the regional bloc’s single currency regime to reach a decision in the interest of member states.

“To move forward as a region, there must be give and take, which sometimes may be painful sacrifice for the sake of collective good”, he said in a statement shared with the Oracle News Daily.

Touray encouraged the Convergence Council to arrive at a consensus after reviewing the report of the Technical Committee for submission to the Council of Ministers at their next session.

Ilídio Vieira Té, the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Guinea Bissau and the Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee on Single Currency, tasked the committee members to make headway with the definition of the “Majority” necessary for the Region to enter the Stability phase.

“This will result in a successful stand and attest to our spirit of fraternity which characterises our Commnity” he said.

The ministerial committee on the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme met in Bissau on Definition of “Majority” of the concept of “Majority of Member States” within the framework of the Macroeconomic Convergence and Stability Pact among Member States on March 17.

The Ministers are expected to adopt the report of the Macroeconomic Policies Technical Committee meeting on the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme and the 2020 and 2022 financial report on the use of the resources of the Special Fund for financing the revised Roadmap of the currency program.

The “ECO” (ECOWAS Single Currency) based on the revised Roadmap is expected to be launched in the 3rd quarter of 2027.

ECOWAS leaders had actually agreed on a single currency to be called Eco for the region 30 years ago to boost cross-border trade and economic development.

But the French speaking members of Ecowas with the supervision of President Emmanuel Macron of France in December 2019 launched the regional single currency and unilaterally converted CFA (French Franc) to Eco.

The move jolted other members of the 15-member bloc.
A member of Nigeria’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC), Bismarck Rewane, cautioned the nation against allowing itself “to be stampeded into making precipitated decisions on joining ‘Eco.”

 

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