The Economy Community of West African States is likely to miss the 2020 deadline for the introduction of the common currency Eco.
Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Millison Narh, who represented Ghana the 28th joint meeting of the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) said
“I believe that sufficient thinking has gone into most of the projects that we have set for ourselves and full implementation should be our next concern,” the deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana charged.
If the sub- regional body misses the 2020 target yet again, it will the third time the deadline will have been shifted.
The criteria includes amongst other things, a budget deficit that most of the member countries are struggling to meet. Only five countries out of 16 have achieved this target in 2014 and 2015.
The West African states need to attain some harmonised positions on a number of policies for a full monetary integration to be possible. These include harmonisation of monetary policy; balance of payments compilation; financial systems regulatory and supervisory laws, laws relating to current and capital accounts and exchange rate policies, as well as the development of ECOWAS Consumer Price Index (ECOWAS CPI).
Director-General of the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA), Professor Mohamed Ben Omar Ndiaye concedes that meeting the budget deficit threshhold seems to be the major challenge for the member countries.
He further urged for more efforts to be invested in the achievement of a streamlined performance in exchange rate performance and price stability.
Member countries have also suffered major cuts in revenue generation owing to the massive dips in the prices of international commodity prices. This poses appreciable difficulties to the process, Prof. Ndiaye admits.
“We have to push very hard; a lot needs to be done and it’s challenging. It’s difficult achieving it, and difficult managing it even when we get there but we need to be committed and push ourselves to achieve it,” the director-general stated.
This trend has pushed down growth in the region from six per cent in 2014 to 4.7 per cent in 2015; the lowest growth since 2009.