s ECOWAS strides towards fostering economic unity in West Africa, Olorunsola Olowofeso, the Director-General of the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI), urged strong collaboration among member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He emphasized the need for an all-hands-on-deck approach to overcome global economic challenges and ensure the timely launch of the proposed common currency, “Eco.”
Addressing attendees at the 53rd Meeting of the Technical Committee of the Member States of the West African Monetary Zone in Accra, Ghana, Olowofeso underscored the collective efforts of governments and central banks within ECOWAS member states to maintain economic stability and uphold the common currency’s launch schedule.
“We need to talk to all stakeholders and work together to synchronize our institutions and regulations to drive this process,” Olowofeso stated. “One institution cannot drive it alone. All hands must be on deck to achieve this. So we need to strengthen our relationships by bringing all the stakeholders together to inform them of the challenges and see how to solve them.”
Despite acknowledging the significant global challenges, Olowofeso remained optimistic, stressing that these obstacles should not deter ECOWAS from progressing with the common currency agenda.
“The challenges are not insurmountable and must not stop ECOWAS from going forward with the agenda,” he affirmed. “For fiscal integration in terms of payment systems, we have gone far. We have also made substantial progress with domestic debt, capital market integration, and the unique bank identification.”
Olowofeso disclosed that WAMI had received support from the African Development Bank to assist remaining countries in bringing these programs to fruition. He emphasized that with cooperation among member states, regional institutions, the West African Monetary Agency, and WAMI, the targets for launching the Eco currency could be achieved.
In 2021, the leaders of ECOWAS adopted a new roadmap that aimed to launch the Eco by 2027. This roadmap stipulates that all member states must meet the primary convergence criteria requirements sustainably by the end of 2026.
The collaborative spirit displayed at the Accra meeting signals the commitment of West African nations to overcome challenges and realize the long-anticipated common currency, providing a potential economic boost to the region.