Bankers Fear ECOWAS May Not Meet Single Currency Deadline

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Some bankers have expressed their fear that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) may fail to meet the new deadline for the introduction of a single currency for the sub-region, Footprint to Africa reports.

According to them, except member nations grow their economies by boosting manufacturing and services, the true regional co-operation and integration deadline may not be met.

It will be recalled that ECOWAS set 2020 as the deadline for the commencement of its single currency policy in the region. This comes after the plan by the council of ministers and governors of central banks of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) to launch a single currency was postponed severally.

Commenting on it, a banking consultant and Head of the Osei Tutu II Centre for Executive Education and Research, Nana Otuo Acheampong, noted that to achieve a single currency, member countries will have to put their economy in proper shape.

“Now to have a single currency, you will have to have what we call some preconditions and those preconditions are what we call the ten convergence criteria, four of which are primary and the other six are secondary. Now the difficulty in getting the currency working is the problem of achieving these ten criteria.

“They all have a problem of achieving fiscal deficit, they have problem with the central bank deficit financing, and they have a problem with import cover, so these are the problems that are bedeviling the whole issue of single currency.

“And so, if you ask if they can achieve it, well if they can all work towards putting their houses in order and get their macroeconomic right because these are issues of macroeconomic factors and if they get it to shape, then it can come to fruition but if the past is anything to go by, the future is not looking any bright for the single currency,” Acheampong said.

Footprint to Africa learnt that the 2020 vision of a single currency in ECOWAS seeks to create a borderless, peaceful, prosperous and cohesive region built on good governance.


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