The Technical Committee for the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) began a meeting in Accra on Monday as work continues for the take-off by
2015 of the Eco, the second monetary zone for West Africa.
Representatives from the Central Banks, Ministries of Finance, Trade, Integratio n and Foreign Affairs of member countries â” Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – are expected to submit a working document which would advice t he Committee of Governors for WAMZ for action.
Mr Temitope Oshikoya, Director General of the West African Monetary Institute (W AMI), said it was important for the five-member states to meet the convergent cr i teria required for adoption of a single currency.
The convergent criteria include attaining single digit inflation, meeting a rese rve of the Central Bank on imports of goods and services for duration not less t h an three months as well as a fiscal deficit of not more than 3 per cent of Gross
Domestic Product, excluding grants.
Member countries are expected to borrow from the Central Banks an amount that sh ould not exceed 10 per cent of the previous yearâ?s tax revenue.
Mr Oshikoya said the Technical Committeeâ?s discussion would finally be submitt ed to the Convergent Council, which is made up of Heads of State of member count r ies, for consideration and adoption.
He stressed the importance of a common currency, saying its introduction would p romote economic stability, physical discipline, facilitate and enhance trade.
â?It will also promote financial integration among member countries and promote regional infrastructure,â? he said.
WAMZ is to establish a strong stable currency to rival the CFA franc, whose exch ange rate is tied to the euro and is guaranteed by the French Treasury.
The eventual goal is for the CFA franc and Eco to merge, giving all of West and Central Africa a single stable currency.