(Ecofin Agency) - Finance ministers and Central Bank Governors of the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) countries gathered in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on June 17 to discuss ways to accelerate the creation of the single currency set to come out by 2020.
Speaking during the meeting, the Ivorian minister of finance, Adama Koné (photo), admitted that many challenges remained to be met until the project was completed. But there is “a political will’ of west African authorites, many of whom are sometimes accused of being reluctant to abandon the highly controversial CFA franc. “The single currency is no longer a technocratic utopia,” he said.
According to the official, hurdles to the currency’s creation mainly relate to the free movement of goods, capital and persons within the ECOWAS region.
This meeting comes at a time when many observers have expressed doubts about the capacity of the countries to achieve this objective. In fact, the project was initiated more than thirty years ago by the founders of ECOWAS, but had ended up drawing no concrete actions towards its achievement. According to Jean-Claude Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, aspects such as the names and symbols of the future single currency, the choice of exchange rate regime and the central banking model should be defined.
The results of the discussions will be the subject of a report to be submitted to ECOWAS Heads of State and Government at their next summit in Abuja on 29 June.
Moutiou Adjibi Nourou