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Reflex Eco Group – Ghana news

by Samuel Boadi (Local journalist)

Central Bank Governors in the ECOWAS sub-region have announced that they would introduce a common currency for member countries by January 1, 2015.

Dr Kofi Wampah, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, who delivered a speech at the opening of the meeting in Accra yesterday, said for over 15 years, countries in ECOWAS have chosen the path of monetary cooperation.

He said commendable efforts were being made by member countries to achieve the requisite macroeconomic stability despite the difficult international economic environment.

He admitted that pursuing the integration agenda would be challenging.

“Fellow Governors since 2007, the world has experienced various forms of economic crises which have mutated from financial crises, to sovereign debt crisis and a general downward spiral that is undeniably affecting each and every economy, big or small.

“Africa has fortunately been affected to a less extent and has remained one of the rapidly growing regions of the world. This has been achieved through a blend of good policy actions and well-structured and sequenced market reforms undertaken in the past. These have paid off and have provided Africa with some buffers and policy space that have helped to dampen the impact of the crises.”

Unfortunately, he said, uncertainty continues to weigh heavily on the outlook of monetary integration as downside risks increase as a result of the global economic crises.

“For us in Ghana, the recovery in the US economy for example, which should normally be good news, is rather impacting negatively on us; with the worsening of the world market price of gold, one of our main foreign exchange earners.”

At the 48th annual meetings of the African Development Bank held in Marrakech, Morocco in May-June 2013, participants stressed the need to expedite action on the integration process.

They also discussed issues relating to the transformation of West African economies.

During the Dakar 2000 meetings, it was agreed that macroeconomic convergence should precede monetary union, and further conditions were set for phases of monetary union in ECOWAS.