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ECOWAS single currency to boost regional trade – Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo has stated that introducing a single currency for countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will encourage trade activities amongst members of the regional bloc.

He said the plan, when eventually rolled out, will help reduce the exportation of raw materials outside West Africa and ensure value addition to basic export commodities.

Speaking at the Fifth Meeting of the Presidential Task Force on the ECOWAS single currency programme in Accra on Wednesday, President Akufo Addo urged all ECOWAS member states to work towards fulfilling the requirements outlined to meet the deadline for the introduction of the ECO currency by 2020.

He urged countries within the sub-region to make conscious efforts towards industrialization in order to take advantage of the viable economic prospects a single currency would present.

“The structural transformation of our economies can no longer be postponed if we are to meet the aspirations of our young people for jobs… The era of Africa’s industrialization has dawned so that we can also trade in the world economy, not on the basis of the export of raw materials but on the basis of things we make. Our quest for a single currency is not intended to boost trading of goods produced in third-party countries. It is meant to encourage the production of goods and services within the region,” Akufo-Addo said.

“It is thus incumbent on us to strengthen the production base of our economies and to improve agricultural productivity and industrial production… There is a viable market ready to absorb the goods which will be produced by our countries,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo called on leaders of West African countries and members of the taskforce to ensure that presidential assent is speedily given to the revised implementation framework to prevent further delays in the introduction of the single currency.

He also called for the processes involved in the setting up of a proposed special fund to finance activities of the roadmap to be hastened.

Nana Akufo-Addo further urged the representatives of various countries in the taskforce to ensure macroeconomic convergence within the shortest possible time since it is a prerequisite for the introduction of the currency.

‘Buhari, other presidents in Ghana’

President Akufo-Addo hosted Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari and his Ivorian counterpart Alhassane Ouattara, as well as the President of Niger, Issoufou Mahamadou at the 5th Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) Presidential Task-force meeting held at the Accra International Conference Center.

Also in attendance at the meeting were governors of Central Banks and foreign Ministers from the ECOWAS.

 

Representatives of the Ministries of Finance and Economy of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, Niger and Nigeria, Central Banks of ECOWAS Members State and the regional institutions involved in the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Programme (EMCP), namely the ECOWAS Commission, UEMOA Commission, West African Monetary Agency (WAMA), West African Monetary Institution (WAMI) BCEAO and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), were also in attendance for the Technical Meetings.

By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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