ACCRA, (Xinhua) -- Leaders of
the West African sub-region gave a firm assurance here on Wednesday of meeting
the 2020 deadline for the introduction of the Eco single currency.
issued at the end of the Fifth Meeting of the Presidential Task Force on ECOWAS
(Economic Community of West African States) single Currency Program added that
the sub-region would, however, gradual approach to the convergence and
introduction of the single currency.
Presidential Task Force includes President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana,
Faure Essozima Gnassingbe of Togo, Alassane Ouattara of La Cote d’Ivoire,
Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger, Muhamadu Buhari of Nigeria, who was represented at
the Wednesday meeting by Godwin Emfiele, Governor of the Nigerian central bank,
and Alpha Conare, President of Guinea, who was also represented by Lounceny Nabe,
Governor of the Guinean central bank.
sub-regional leaders met in Accra in 2000 to introduce a second monetary zone
and introduce a second currency called the Eco, they added a number of primary
convergence criteria for each member of the second monetary zone to make Eco a
Force reaffirmed the gradual approach where member states which meet the
Convergence Criteria can start the Monetary Union while the other countries join
later,” the declaration announced.
primary convergence criteria has since 2002 been the bottleneck in the
introduction of the second monetary union in the sub-region, compelling the
leaders to return to the initial plan of a single currency for the entire
sub-region which will merge the Francophone and Anglophone zones as well as the
Portuguese and Spanish speaking zones.
African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) set up a Primary Criteria for the six-members
ECOWAS—Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and one francophone member Guinea,
and later Cape Verde.
The WAMZ aims
to achieve and maintain price stability by recording single digit end of period
inflation rate by 2003 and five percent by 2004.
It is also to
ensure sustainable government fiscal position by reducing the ratio of budget
deficit (excluding grants) on commitment basis to GDP to four percent.
are to limit Central Bank financing of government budget deficit as a percent of
previous year’s tax revenue to 10 percent or less, as well as maintain
sufficient level of gross official foreign exchange reserves of at least three
months of import cover.
the progress made by member countries, the Task Force adopted the revised
roadmap for accelerating the creation of the ECOWAS Single currency by 2020,
instructing all member-countries to implement vigorously the revised roadmap.
Force also reaffirmed the commitment to fund the ECOWAS single currency program
by the member-states and central banks.
for a single currency is not intended to boost trading of goods produced in
third-party countries. It is meant to encourage the production of goods and
services within the region.
structural transformation of our economies can no longer be postponed if we are
to meet the aspirations of our young people for jobs,” President Akufo-Addo
declared at the opening of the meeting.
that the era of Africa’s industrialization had dawned so that “we can also trade
in the world economy, not on the basis of the export of raw materials but on the
basis of things we make.”
“It is thus
incumbent on us to strengthen the production base of our economies and to
improve agricultural productivity and industrial production. There is a viable
market ready to absorb the goods which will be produced by our countries,”