March 11, 2019

Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Moustapha Cisse Lo has said the sub-regional legislative body would champion the pioneering of the adoption of the single currency project in 2020.

Ahead of the 2020 takeoff deadline, as work has been going on towards a common currency for the West African Monetary Zone to facilitate easy trading within the zone.

Mr. Moustapha Cisse Lo made this remarks in Dakar Senegal at the opening of a three day Parliamentary seminar on the theme, “the challenges and prospects of an ECOWAS single currency”.

Introduction of the single currency was first planned in 2003; postponed several times to 2005, 2010, and 2014 and now there is a 2020 deadline for the implementation. For the project to be implemented, there are ten convergence criteria set out by the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI).

Furtherance to meeting of the criteria, there should be single digit inflation rate at the end of each year; fiscal deficit of not more than 4 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP); a central bank deficit-financing of not more than 10 percent of the previous year’s tax revenue; and gross external reserves that can give import cover for a minimum of three months.

The Speaker further noted that the deadline set is very close but noted that people in the region were not well informed about the project and added that, “all of us are responsible in terms of achieving the objectives we have to careful to act now”.

In addition, he called on representatives of the people in the community Parliament to complement the efforts of the commission in implementing and monitoring of the roadmap of the single currency.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/