Anglopone West Africa meet over single currency

APA-Abuja (Nigeria)

Anglophone West African nations, which are members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), have resolved to meet over the proposed regional single currency, the Eco, and assess the impact of its adoption by their French-speaking counterparts.

Nigeria, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are meeting in Abuja on the issue on Thursday, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has said.

Ahmed had earlier said that Nigeria was studying the adoption of the Eco by some French-speaking countries and tying it to Euro convertible value.

The countries are Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo and Guinea Bissau.

She said that Nigeria decided not to make any statement over the controversy that followed the eight mostly French-speaking ECOWAS members to dump the CFA franc for the Eco as their common currency, to avoid being misunderstood.

According to the minister, Nigeria will make appropriate response in due course after assessing the situation.

Eco is the name adopted for the common currency of ECOWAS by the Authority of the Community’s Heads of State and Government.

The adoption of the common currency expected to be issued in June 2020 is part of efforts by  the regional bloc to realize over a 30-year aspiration to establish a single currency among its members and ensure regional economic integration.

The announcement by Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara, on behalf of the French-speaking members of the regional grouping signalled a widening crack in the ranks of the group along pre-colonial and political lines.

The controversy became heightened, following the allegations of undisguised involvement of the French government, which analysts accused of attempts to hijack the Eco single currency project.

Apart from the decision to keep the exchange rate of the proposed Eco still pegged to the Euro, the French government also said its former colonies would no longer be required to maintain 50 percent of their reserves in its treasury.


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