NIAMEY, NIGER, Leaders of West African nations have committed to fast-tracking teh creation and use of a single currency in the 15 members of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) by 2020 and have mandated the presidents of Niger and Ghana to monitor the process.

At the Fourth Meeting of the Presidential Taskforce on a common currency for the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) held in the Nigerien capital, Niamey, on Tuesday, the leaders pledged to ensure that the sub-region attained common monetary convergence to enhance its integration agenda and bring prosperity to its people.

Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana, were mandated by the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State to monitor and supervise the implementation of the common currency programme of action.

President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, who are also members of the Taskforce, also attended the summit. Also present was current ECOWAS Chairperson President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo.

The Ministers of Finance of Ghana and Niger; the Governors of eight central banks of ECOWAS member States; the ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions; the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) and the West African Monetary Institute, also took part in the meeting.

In a communiqué issued after the meeting, the Taskforce urged Member States to take the necessary measures, including the attainment of the convergence criteria, necessary for the creation of the ECOWAS single currency by 2020 and asked the the Ministerial Committee to propose within three months a new roadmap to accelerate the creation of the single currency by 2020.

They recommended a gradual approach, where a few countries, which are ready, can start the monetary union, whilst the other countries join later. The next meeting of the Presidential Task Force will take place in Accra in February 2018.



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