Africa: Hurdles As Nigeria, Ghana, 4 Others Reject 'Eco' Currency

A person holds cash in different currencies.
17 January 2020

The six member countries of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) comprising Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, have rejected the adoption of 'Eco' as the name of the proposed single currency for West Africa.

Rising from an extra-ordinary meeting of the ministers of finance, and the governors of the Central Banks of the West African Monetary Zone on the ECOWAS single currency programme, held yesterday in Abuja, WAMZ rejected the adoption of Eco by mostly French speaking West African states.

Recall in December 2019, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo announced they were migrating from their currency, CFA Franc to Eco. This decision was backed by France even ahead of the formal adoption of the Eco as the currency of the ECOWAS member states.

The extraordinary meeting was under the Chairmanship of Hon. Mamadi Camara, Minister for Economy and Finance of the Republic of Guinea.

The Communiqué issued at end of the meeting "noted with concern, the declaration by His Excellency, Alasane Outtarra, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) on December 21, 2019 to unilaterally rename the CFA Franc as "Eco" by 2020."

"WAMZ Convergence Council wishes to emphasize that this action is not in line with the decisions of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for the adoption of the "Eco" as the name of an independent ECOWAS Single Currency" it said.

The communiqué also indicated that "WAMZ Convergence Council re-iterates the importance for all ECOWAS member countries to adhere to the decisions of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government towards the implementation of the revised roadmap of the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme."

"The WAMZ Convergence Council recommends that an Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the WAMZ Member States be convened soon to discuss this matter and other related issues," it said.

Present at this Meeting, were the under-mentioned Ministers of Finance and the Economy and Governors of Central Banks of the member States of the West African monetary Zone:

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