Just as the Europe countries did as they adopt a common currency which is the Euro, The ECOWAS has also come into agreement to adopt a common currency which is called ECO in January, 2020 WestAfrica24.com can confirm.
The West African leaders endorsed the currency at their 55th Ordinary Session and approved a road map towards the issuance of the currency in January 2020.
There roadmap is to ensure that all member countries meet three primary criteria for the adoption of the currency.
The criteria for adoption includes member countries having a budget deficit of not more than 3%; average annual inflation of less than 10% with a long-term goal of not more than 5% by 2019.
Member countries were also expected to have gross reserves that can finance at least three months of imports.
The other convergence criteria that have been adopted by ECOWAS are public debt or Gross Domestic Product of not more than 70%.
There is also the issue of central banks financing budget deficit not more than 10% of previous year’s tax revenue, and nominal exchange rate variation of plus or minus 10%.
A communiqué by Nigeria’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mustapha Suleiman said that the regional leaders instructed the ECOWAS Commission to work in collaboration with West African Monetary Agency.
The commission is also expected to work with West African Monetary Institute and all central banks to settle on a symbol for the single currency.
President Issoufou Mahamadou who happened to be the ECOWAS chairman said that the revised roadmap does not affect the date for the issuance of the single currency in January 2020.
He said “We have not changed that but we will continue with assessment between now and then.
“We are of the view that countries that are ready will launch the single currency and countries that are not yet ready will join the programme as they comply with all six convergence criteria,” he added.
It comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
,Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo are the eight out of the ECOWAS which uses same currency known as the CFA Franc