In the 59th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), held on Saturday, June 19, 2021 in Accra, Ghana, African leaders representing 14 nations have agreed on a roadmap that will see the launch of the regional bloc’s ECO common currency.
The common currency is a shared effort upon which the participating countries wish to revamp intra-regional trade and bring about economic growth, after a “negative growth of 0.8% in 2020”, due to the effects of the global pandemic. The bloc projects a GDP growth of 3.5% for this year, mainly thanks to the implementation of economic stimulus programs and projects to support the ongoing recovery already observed in West Africa.
“We have a new road map and a new convergence pact that will cover the period between 2022-2026, and 2027 being the launch of the ECO,” said Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, president of the ECOWAS Commission, during a news conference after the meeting.
According to the communiqué issued after the session, the implementation of the ECO will incorporate a “convergence phase”, which will cover the period of 2022 to 2026, while January 2027 will see the start of a “stability phase”, much like the framework established by the implementation of the Euro over two decades ago.
According to Mr. Kassi Brou, the pandemic postponed the convergence phase, which should already be underway.
“Due to the shock of the pandemic, the Heads of State had decided to suspend the implementation of the convergence pact in 2020-2021”.
The 15 members of the ECOWAS are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
In this 59th Ordinary Session, H.E. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, represented Mali as an ECOWAS Mediator.
You may read the official communiqué below, or by clicking HERE.