Africa: Ghana hosts 5th meeting of presidential task force on ECOWAS single currency

Africa: Ghana hosts 5th meeting of presidential task force on ECOWAS single currency
The summit aimed at assessing progress towards a single regional currency by 2020. ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, was set up in 1975.

Government of Ghana (Accra)

The Fifth Meeting of the Presidential Task Force on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Single Currency Program has taken place in Accra.

The meeting brought together Heads of States, Governors of Central Banks and the Finance and Foreign Ministers from the ECOWAS sub-region to deliberate on the implementation of the ECOWAS Single Currency program by the year 2020.

Present at the meeting were His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on the ECOWAS Single Currency, His Excellency Issoufou Mahamadou, President of the Republic of Niger and Co-Chairman of the Task Force, His Excellency Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire and the Governor of the Central Bank of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr.Godwin Emefiele, representing His Excellency, Mahamadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Also present were His Excellency Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, President of the Republic of Togo and incumbent Chairman of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS and the Governor of the Central Bank of Guinea, Mr. Lounceny Nabe, representing the President of the Republic of Guinea, His Excellency, Professor Alpha Conde.

The others who attended were the Ministers in charge of Finance of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Niger, Presidents of the ECOWAS Commission and UEMOA Commission, Governors of the Central Banks of ECOWAS Member States, special representatives of the Heads of State of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria on the Ministerial Committee, the Director-General of the West African Monetary Agency and the Director-General of the West African Monetary Institute while the Director of the Economic Commission for Africa sub-regional office for West Africa attended as an observer.

A communique issued at the end of the meeting said the Presidential Task Force reaffirmed their political will to meet the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme deadline by 2020 and the commitment to ratify and implement all relevant ECOWAS protocols and conventions.

The communique said the Presidential Task Force also reaffirmed the gradual approach where Member States which meet the convergence criteria could start the monetary union while the other countries join later.

The communique welcomed the progress made by the Member States and encouraged them to continue the efforts toward meeting the convergence criteria and strengthening the multilateral surveillance mechanism.

According to the communique, the Presidential Task Force adopted the revised roadmap for accelerating the creation of the ECOWAS single currency by 2020 and instructed all stakeholders to implement the revised roadmap.

The communique said the Presidential Task Force reaffirmed their commitment to funding the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme by Member States and their Central Banks and invited the Committee of Governors and Convergence Council to hold quarterly meetings on the progress of implementation of planned activities and to regularly report at their biannual sessions.

The communique said the Heads of State members of the Task Force expressed their concern over the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and called on the African Union to put in place a mechanism to move towards a peaceful solution.

The next meeting of the Presidential Task Force is scheduled for May 2018 in Niamey, Republic of Niger.

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)
Video: ECOWAS Single Currency

Ghana’s President Akufo Addo hosts west African leaders

Video: President Akufo Addo’s full speech 5th meeting of the presidential taskforce on the ECOWAS single currency

Ghana’s President Akufo Addo hosts the 5th Presidential taskforce meeting on ECOWAS single currency


The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was established on May 28 1975 via the Treaty of Lagos. ECOWAS is a 15-member regional group with a mandate of promoting economic integration in all fields of activity of the constituting countries.

Member countries making up ECOWAS are:
Burkina Faso
Cape Verde
Cote d’ Ivoire
The Gambia
Guinea Bissau
Sierra Leone

Before the creation of ECOWAS, the collective territory known as West Africa, was made up of an aggregation of states that had emerged from different colonial experiences and administrations which largely defined the boundaries of the 15 states domiciled in the area.

Even though Member States of the community now make use of three official languages (English, French and Portuguese), there are well over a thousand existing local languages including cross-border native tongues such as Ewe, Fulfulde, Hausa, Mandingo, Wolof, Yoruba, Ga, etc. that constitute its over 300 million people tucked in a vast land of about 5.1 million square kilometres (1.96 million square miles).

Prior to European colonialism, the area played host to many proud empires and kingdoms that spanned centuries, some of which included Ghana, Mali Songhai, Wolof, Oyo, Benin and Kanem Bornu.

The region’s cultural, linguistic and ecological diversity presents both opportunities and challenges for the integration process. The longing to combine forces politically and economically has always been recognized as a step forward in the desire to engender co-prosperity in the area.

In this regard, the first effort at integration dates back to 1945 with the creation of CFA franc that brought the francophone countries of the region into a single currency union. Then in 1964, Liberian president William Tubman proposed an economic union for West Africa leading to an agreement which was signed in 1965 by the four states of Cote d’Ivore, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

However, it was not until 1972 that a proposal for a union of West African States emerged. That year, the Nigerian head of state Gen Yakubu Gowon and his Togolese counterpart Gnassingbe Eyadema toured the region in support of the integration Idea. Thanks to the drafts that emanated from their efforts. These formed the basis for the emergence of the treaty of Lagos in 1975 which birthed ECOWAS. The treaty of Lagos was originally touted as an economic initiative, but emerging political events led to its revision and therewith the expansion of scope and powers in 1993.

ECOWAS is meant to foster interstate economic and political cooperation. History is on its side in this regard. Dating back to pre-colonial times, West Africans have been among the world’s most mobile populations although much of the migration had been intra-regional. About 7.5 million West African migrants (3 percent of the regional population) are living in ECOWAS countries other than their own. The 1.2 million other migrants are dispersed mainly in North America and Europe. Estimated at about 149 million in 2013, women constitute over 50 percent of the region’s population. The cross-border migration of women as traders and business persons places them as potential champions for promoting integration. This reality needs to be fully exploited.

The diverse socio-cultural dimension of development should be a necessary building block for establishing peace and security in the region. Drawing strength from its past, leaders of the community have been making sacrifices to keep the shape of the political structure of the region. In 1976, Cape Verde, one of the two Lusophone countries in the region joined ECOWAS, and in December 2000, Mauritania withdrew its membership.

At all times, ECOWAS chief executive officers presiding initially as Executive Secretaries and now as Presidents, defer to the supreme organ of the community-the Authority of the Heads of State of Government for guidance. This body is usually headed by a Chairman.

The list below shows the various chairmen in a chronological order:

• Gnassingbé Eyadéma (Togo) 1977–1978
• Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria) 1978–1979
• Léopold Sédar Senghor (Senegal) 1979–1980
• Gnassingbé Eyadéma (Togo) 1980–1981
• Siaka Stevens (Sierra Leone) 1981–1982
• Mathieu Kérékou (Benin) 1982–1983
• Ahmed Sékou Touré (Guinea) 1983–1984
• Lansana Conté (Guinea) 1984–1985
• Muhammadu Buhari (Nigeria) 1985 – 27 August 1985
• Ibrahim Babangida (Nigeria) 27 August 1985 – 1989
• Dawda Jawara (the Gambia) 1989–1990
• Blaise Compaoré (Burkina Faso) 1990–1991
• Dawda Jawara (the Gambia) 1991–1992
• Abdou Diouf (Senegal) 1992–1993
• Nicéphore Soglo (Benin) 1993–1994
• Jerry John Rawlings (Ghana) 1994 – 27 July 1996
• Sani Abacha (Nigeria) 27 July 1996 – 8 June 1998
• Abdulsalami Abubakar (Nigeria) 9 June 1998 – 1999
• Gnassingbé Eyadéma (Togo) 1999
• Alpha Oumar Konaré (Mali) 1999 – 21 December 2001
• Abdoulaye Wade (Senegal) 21 December 2001 – 31 January 2003
• John Agyekum Kufuor (Ghana) 31 January 2003 – 19 January 2005
• Mamadou Tandja (Niger) 19 January 2005 – 19 January 2007
• Blaise Compaoré (Burkina Faso) 19 January 2007 – 19 December 2008
• Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (Nigeria) 19 December 2008 – 18 February 2010
• Goodluck Jonathan (Nigeria) 18 February 2010 – 17 February 2012
• Alassane Ouattara (Côte d’Ivoire) 17 February 2012 – 28 March 2014
• John Dramani Mahama (Ghana) 28 March 2014 –19 Mai 2015
• Macky Sall – 19 Mai 2015 –June 2016
• Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – June 2016- June 2017
• Faure Gnassingbe- June 2017- Current

By subscribing to the vision of the founding fathers of ECOWAS, it can be said that today’s leaders of the community have taken ownership of the grand objectives designed to improve the living conditions of the citizenry, ensure economic growth and create an environment conducive for true development and integration.
The United States of Africa -The African Union

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