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ECOWAS pushes for launch of single currency by 2027

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ECOWAS pushes for launch of single currency by 2027

Mr. Jean-Claude Brou, President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, has revealed that the community has commenced convergence in preparation for the launch of the ECOWAS single currency “ECO” in 2027.

Brou stated this on Tuesday, while presenting the ECOWAS Commission’s reports to the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja during the ongoing 2022 First Ordinary Session of the Parliament.

According to Brou, the process of creating the unified currency was halted after the emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020, since governments needed to focus on dealing with the pandemic.

He added that the convergence criteria have to be comprehensive in order for the currency to properly serve citizens once it was deployed.

“We had to suspend that in 2022, 2021. We are looking at 2022 to 2026 to be able to create conditions that will enable us to stabilise the economies.

“And so, 2027 we go back to the currency. The process of the performance criteria is always prioritised if we want to be in a very favorable condition to introduce the single currency.

“Because you can introduce the currency but what is required is that it should be of quality.

“In other words, it should serve the needs of the population and also should inspire confidence and trust in in the population.

Read also: Buhari to attend ECOWAS summit in Accra

“So that is the main objective, to ensure that the convergence criteria is been followed,” Brou said.

Rep. Awaji Abiante, a Nigerian member who represents the Andoni-Opobi/Nkoro Federal Constituency of Rivers in the ECOWAS Parliament, stated that the delay in the currency’s launch aims to avoid any type of crisis.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Abiante told journalists that the single currency is still a work in progress, but that there is hope that it will eventually function.

“Every good thing comes with its challenges so getting the economies of the 15 member states to agree on that transaction and how it can be moved forward.

“If it is hurried, definitely it could run into crisis so it is good to have every aspect of it discussed, agreement reached, such that it will be implementable,” Abiante said.

On the sustainability and benefits of the currency, Abiante said that until it is implemented, one cannot say how viable it would be.

“Whatever anybody says, it is just going to be mere projections, it is only when it is implemented that you will see the benefits.

“But simply put, it will ease transactions, it will open up the economies, it will make it freeer for people to engage in both commercial and industrial activities,” he said.

In June 2019, the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of States and Government committed to having a single currency and adopted the name “ECO” during its Extraordinary Session in Abuja.

11The currency was expected to be launched in 2020.

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