West Africa gets a new currency – it’s called the ECO

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 July 2019:

Starting next January 2020, countries within the West African sub-region will be able to use a single currency called the ECO. The new single currency was adopted by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government last Saturday, in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, after decades of discussion towards achieving regional economic integration.

The West African leaders endorsed the currency at their 55th Ordinary Session, along with a road map leading to citizens across the region being able to use the single currency on 1st of January 2020.

The previous roadmap spelling out the paths to single currency outlined three primary criteria for the adoption of the currency and ensure convergence of the various economies.

The most important of these criteria include the need for each ECOWAS member country having a budget deficit of not more than 3%; an average annual inflation of less than 10% with a long-term goal of not more than 5% by 2019; and gross reserves that can finance at least three months of imports.

The other convergence criteria that have been adopted by ECOWAS is that a member country’s public debt must be less than 70% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

There is also the issue of central banks financing budget deficit not more than 10% of previous year’s tax revenue, and nominal exchange rate variation of plus or minus 10%.

At the end of the Abuja meeting a communiqué read by Nigeria’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mustapha Suleiman noted that the regional leaders instructed the ECOWAS Commission to work in collaboration with West African Monetary Agency.

The commission is also expected to work with West African Monetary Institute and all central banks to settle on a symbol for the single currency – the Eco.

The ECOWAS Chairman President Issoufou Mahamadou has said that the revised roadmap does not affect the date for the issuance of the single currency in January 2020.

Speaking about the deadline for adoption Mahamadou said: “We have not changed that but we will continue with assessment between now and then.

“We are of the view that countries that are ready will launch the single currency and countries that are not yet ready will join the programme as they comply with all six convergence criteria.”

Established in 1975, ECOWAS has a combined population of 385 million across the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

But what could make integration and a move towards a single currency difficult, is that eight of these countries – Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo, are currently using one currency – the CFA franc.

It is not yet clear how much the total cost of moving to a single currency will be for the region, nor for each of the West African countries involved, nearly all of whom are suffering from serious economic stagnation.

7 Comments

  1. MONOPOLYmoney…That’s That’d That’s all I’ll conclude this exercise to be…PaperMoney for Game!
    ANIMALFARM!!! BIGBROTHERAFRICA!!! ROTHSCHILDmanipulations!!! Go look all up Get back to me when you’re done! I’ve been looking it all up for over 38 years and it’s not an easy feat!

    Our dumbness and deep ignorance is gone past LEGENDARY…It’s as incredulous and as befuddling as one seeing a levitating donkey in a marketplace! Africa’s mentality and lackluster demeanor has caused it’s unbelievably richly endowed continent with as much wealth as equal to it’s Greedy, Violent, Corrupted and unrepentant so-called elitist. All under the carefully handpicked grip of the illuminatiFamily. DONTaskDONTtell… ANIMALFARM…THE BIGGERtheAREAthe better TheTrickery!

    NIGERIANIGGERAREA…*Cameroon(Named so by the Portuguese…because “Shrimp’s”; so called in their language, were located there in large quantity’s). African’s can’t seem to help themselves without being externally manipulated by the PuppetMaster’s!

  2. Move over EURO, here comes ECO
    The Euro, a common denomination that encompasses several European countries, on the drawing board since 1957, was finally launched on January 1st, 1999, when it became the currency of more than 300 million people in Europe after some forty years of planning, strategizing, deliberation and finally the historical launch.

    Today, euro banknotes and coins are legal tender in 19 of the 28 Member States of the European Union, including the overseas departments, territories and islands which are either part of, or politically and economically associated with, euro area countries.

    It is worth noting that, all EU countries, except Denmark and the United Kingdom, have an opt-out. Infact, Great Britain even voted to leave the European Union altogether in the Brexit vote in 2016. As of April 2019, the currency issue was to be a moot point, as the Brexit vote has contaminated a rather smooth exit from the European Union.

    Indeed, the Brexit vote has presented it’s own set of unforeseen unpredictability to the British people. As a result, Brexit is on hold. The goal of the establishment of the Euro was to make European commerce easier and more integrated as they share common borders throughout the continental Europe. Britain is an Island. The currency debuted in 2002 in a dozen countries. More have since signed on, and additional countries plan to do so in the future.

    It must also be noted that the Euro and the United States Dollar are two major currencies in international trade and are key to global markets and commerce.

    Enter the ECO in the African sub region of West Africa, where Ecowas, the Economic Commission Of West African States (ECOWAS), is poised to embark upon its very own maiden voyage and subsequently debut its own currency encompassing several Nation States in the said region, from Mali to Ghana.

    The idea of a single currency for the West African region, similar to the European experience, is an decades old dream, first mooted almost 30 years ago in the hope of boosting region-wide economic activity, cross border trade and general development of the sub region.

    Indeed, a truly historic moment, unevenly witnessed on the African continent as a whole, since the inception of the continent-wide political grouping of the African Union. The leaders of the member states, collectively known as ECOWAS, on June 29th, 2019 formally agreed to create and name a planned common currency to be referred to as the “ECO”.
    Not EURO, But ECO, got it. I am so proud.

    The 15-member group announced at the end of the summit in Abuja, the political Nigeria of Nigeria, ironically, not Lagos, the economic hub of the country “ECO was adopted as the name of the ECOWAS single currency.” It has been decades since the idea of a single West African currency was first hatched.

    However, issues including the lack of needed legal framework has hampered its adoption which would have allowed countries across the region to be able to move and spend money across different countries without worrying about exchange rate costs says economic analyst.

    Maintenance of inflation of 5% or less has also delayed the implementation process. But finally, once implemented, countries across the region will be able to move and spend money across different countries without worrying about exchange rate costs says economic analyst, based on the European, EURO model. Movement of people also will be facilitated.

    It will also improve trade by allowing specific countries to specialize at what they are good at, and exchange it for other goods that other countries in the bloc produce more efficiently.

    Another positive, once fully implemented, is the fact that it will eventually merge the new currency with the West African CFA franc (used by the French-speaking members of ECOWAS since 1945) at a later date.

    ECOWAS has a combined population of over 385 million across West Africa, a far greater number than the EU countries combined.
    This will create a common currency for much of West Africa. The new currency is to be issued starting January 1st, 2020 and hopefully, this will bring a new dawn into West African commerce for the benefit of the region at large, and the continent as a whole.

    It remains to be seen whether the ECO will eventually play a key role in the expansion of trade on a larger scale within the African continent.

  3. Welcome “ECO”! This calls for celebrations. This is going to be a great chance to stop our downward economic trend to greater level. And for some of our leaders hoarding our currency for their own selfishness, God is watching you all.

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