West Africa: CBL Tarlue Reaffirms Liberia's Commitment Single Currency

Franc CFA

The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), J. Aloysius Tarlue, Jr, has reaffirmed Liberia's commitment to joning the West African region's single currency regime.His statement came during an Extra-Ordinary Meeting of Ministers of the Finance and Governors of Central Banks of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) on Thursday, January 16, 2020 in Abuja.

The Member States of the WAMZ are: The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

The Extra-Ordinary Meeting was held in response to the public declaration by Ivorian President and Chairman of the Heads of State and Government of the member states of West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Alassane Ouattara, to replace the currency " Communaute Financiere d'Afrique (CFA) franc" with the "Eco", the name adopted for the ECOWAS Single Currency.

While they acknowledged the decision of the WAEMU (or UEMOA, the French version) to delink the CFA from the French Franc, the Ministers and the Governors of the WAMZ expressed serious concern about the unilateral decision of the WAEMU Authority of Heads of State and Government to adopt the Eco outside of the Single Currency Programme approved by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.

The Ministers and the Governors stressed the need for all Member States to work in concert to ensure the establishment of a sustainable and credible monetary union for the benefit of the sub-region. They further agreed to engage the ECOWAS Commission and WAEMU to seek clarification on the declaration and its implication for the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Programme (EMCP). The Ministers and the Governors also highlighted the urgent need for greater cooperation and collaboration among Member States of the zone to promote real convergence, as a critical requirement for a sustainable monetary convergence.

For his part, Executive Governor Tarlue reaffirmed Liberia's commitment to the EMCP and called for Member States' adherence to the policy harmonization and macroeconomic convergence criteria. He admonished member states to exhaustively consult and engage for the amicable resolution of the decision of WAEMU.

It can be recalled that in 2000, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the above-named countries established the WAMZ as the second monetary zone of the ECOWAS. The WAMZ was expected to adopt a common currency by 2015 with the view of converging with the WAEMU for adoption of the ECOWAS Single Currency in 2020. However, due to the persistent delay in the achievement of the Single Currency Programme, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS adopted the single-track approach with the new date for the launching of the single currency by 2020. A number of preconditions precedent to the launching of the single currency as contained in the revised roadmap remain outstanding.

At the December 21, 2019 Summit held in Abuja, the Authority reaffirmed their commitment to the Single Currency Programme.

The Executive Governor was accompanied by Musa Dukuly (PhD), Deputy Governor for Economic Policy; Mr. Mussah A. Kamara, Director, Research, Policy and Planning; Mr. Michael B. Ogun, Head, Multilateral Relations; and Mr. Augustine S. Tailey, Special Assistant to the Executive Governor.

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