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Experts urge accelerated Monetary Union in West Africa

Experts from the ECOWAS Commission Member States and other regional institutions have called on the Commission to accelerate the process for the operationalisation of the ECOWAS Macroeconomic Convergence (ECOMAC) towards the realisation of a single Monetary Union in West Africa.

Rising from their meeting in Cotonou, Benin,  6-8 June 2011, they noted that the finalisation of the ECOMAC database would facilitate the analysis of national and regional economic performance and the status of Member States on the macroeconomic convergence scale.

According to an ECOWAS Commission statement obtained by PANA here Thursday, the participants also agreed on the harmonisation of the general and country-specific guides to be prepared in the three ECOWAS official languages  – English, French and Portuguese.

In addition, they requested the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) to ensure that data on exchange rates were regularly sent to Member States.

The ECOMAC database, which is expected to be launched before the end of July 2011, consists of five elements including the Metadata and Guide for Filling the ECOMAC database, which focuses on generalities and country-specific guides developed to address the statistical context of each Member State.

Mr. Baguida Boko, the Beninese Director-General of Economy and Chairman of the National Coordinating Committee on Economic Policy, who represented the Minister for Economy and Finance of Benin, and Mr. Lassané Kaboré of the ECOWAS Multilateral Surveillance Department, both addressed the opening of the Cotonou meeting.

The meeting followed a series of workshops in Lomé, Lagos and Abidjan to examine and validate the ECOMAC database and to discuss the methods of data retrieval from each ECOWAS Member State.  

Last year, regional institutions including the ECOWAS Commission, the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA), the West African Central Bank (BCEAO), the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) and WAMA validated the ECOMAC as part of efforts to generate comprehensive and quality statistical data, in conformity with international standards and to facilitate regular updates of the database in a harmonized and coherent framework

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