The West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) Convergence Council has emphasised that the declaration to unilaterally rename the CFA Franc as “Eco” by 2020 is not in line with the decisions of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS).

The declaration, which was done by Alasane Outtara, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), on December 21, 2019, to unilaterally rename the CFA Franc as “Eco” did not go down well for the adoption of the “Eco” as the name of an independent ECOWAS single currency.

According to a Communiqué issued at  an extra-ordinary meeting of the Ministers of Finance and Economy and Governors of Central Banks of the Member States of the WAMZ Convergence Council which was held on January 16, 2020, in Abuja, Nigeria, under the chairmanship of Mamadi CAMARA, Minister for Economy and Finance of the Republic of Guinea, the Council noted with concern such declaration and therefore reiterated the importance and the need for all ECOWAS member countries to adhere to the decisions of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government for the implementation of the revised roadmap of the ECOWAS single currency programme.

The Communiqué, presented by Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, stated: “WAMZ Convergence Council recommends that an Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the WAMZ Member States be convened soon to discuss this matter and other related issues”

It will be recalled that on the 7th day of December, 2019, no agreement was reached on where to domicile the ECOWAS Central Bank, and neither was decision reached on the logo for the currency nor on the reserve levels of the bank. The actual decisions reached included the following: The Joint Surveillance Missions are to be extended to cover all ECOWAS Member States as from this year; to accelerate the process of harmonisation of the regions statistical frameworks.

Present at this meeting were the under-mentioned Ministers of Finance and the Economy, and Governors of Central Bank of the Member States of the West African Monetary Zone: Mambury Njie, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Republic of The Gambia; Ken Ofori Atta, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Ghana; Mamadi CAMARA, Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Guinea; Samuel D. Tweah Jr., Minister of Finance and Development Planning of the Republic of Liberia; Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

Others were: Jacob J. Saffa, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Sierra Leone; Buah D. Saidy, Senior Advisor, Central Bank of The Gambia; Ernest K.Y. Addison, Bank of Ghana; Lounceny Nabe, Central Bank of the Republic of Guinea; J. Aloysius Tarlue Jr., Central Bank of Liberia; Godwin I. Emefiele, Central Bank of Nigeria; and Kelfala M. kallon, Bank of Sierra Leone.

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