The ECOWAS Commission through the Directorate of Macroeconomic Stability and Multilateral Surveillance has organized a two-day technical committee meeting on the implementation of the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme.
The meeting, which is within the framework of the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Programmes and Multilateral Surveillance Mechanism, considered the macroeconomic performance and convergence report for the first half of 2021 and prospect for the rest of the year.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Research, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, whose speech was delivered by the Director, Macroeconomic Stability and Multilateral Surveillance Essien Abel Essein thanked participants for prompt attendance at the meeting, despite the postponement from the earlier scheduled date.
Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku appreciated the committee on ECOWAS Single Currency Programme for their hardwork and diligence towards efforts for the achievement of a single Currency in the region. He stated that the decision to delay the launch of the currency in 2020 after careful analysis of the convergence profile of member states was a wise one and a new roadmap that would culminate in a new launch date in 2027 had been agreed. He said that this meeting was focused on the Macroeconomic performance and convergence goals of the member states towards ensuring the feasibility of the 2027 launch date.
The Chair of the Technical Committee on the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme, Dr. Alhassan Iddirusu who was represented by the Deputy Head, International and Regional Economic Policy Unit, Ministry of Finance, Republic of Finance Raymond Kodjoe Nazar welcomed all to this important meeting to consider and discuss the draft ECOWAS Macroeconomic Performance and Convergence Report for the first half of year 2021.
He thanked the Joint team from ECOWAS Commission, West African Monetary Institute and West African Monetary Authority who put together the report, and said that despite the economic growth rates achieved in 2019 (which was eroded by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in slow and negative growth) increased health spending and loss of tax revenues, there is a need for necessary and urgent steps to emerge stronger from the fallout of the pandemic.
Speaking from the data extracted from the report, he said “GDP growth for first half of year 2021 is 3.76 percent and is expected to end the year at 4.07 percent on account of rising community prices and improved economic activity in the first 6 months of 2021”. He furthered stated that “prosperity of the region depends on building stronger networks and institutions to enable us emerge from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Thereafter, the draft ECOWAS Macroeconomic Performance and Convergence Report of first half of 2021 was presented and discussed. At the end of the meeting, a report of the meeting was prepared and adopted by the participants.