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ECOWAS single currency to be launched by 2020

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says the single currency programme will be launched by 2020.

Kalilou Traore, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion, says the commission is committed to implementing a single currency in West Africa by 2020.

Traore told the media in Lagos this week that the commission was fast-tracking processes toward the implementation of the single currency within the period, Vanguard reported.

“More states have to comply with some macroeconomic criteria like inflation, budget deficit, currency stability; without this, if we set up a common currency, it will fail”.

A common currency is expected to support a more integrated regional economy and Traore said frameworks which support regional automotive, pharmaceutical and agriculture industry programmes are part of the processes toward achieving success of the common currency,Vanguard reported.

Member states must maintain a single-digit inflation rate at the end of each year Photo:

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Member states must maintain a single-digit inflation rate at the end of each year Photo:

According to reports, the 15-member bloc – shifted the launch date of the single currency from an initial date of 1 January 2015 to 2020 citing non-fulfillment of financial responsibilities by member countries.

The West African Monetary Institute set out 10 criteria points for the launch of the currency: the Four Primary Convergence Criteria and Six Secondary Convergence Criteria, the African Review noted.

The four primary criteria include: a single-digit inflation rate at the end of each year, a fiscal deficit of no more than four percent of Gross Domestic Product, a central bank deficit-financing of no more than 10 percent of the previous year’s tax revenue, and gross external reserves that can give import cover for a minimum of three months.

Source: Vanguard

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