ECOWAS to adopt single currency by 2020

•    ECOWAS headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.

• ECOWAS headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.

Plans are far advanced for the adoption of a single currency for all members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Dr. Christian R. K. Ahortor, Senior Economist at the West African Monetary Institution, has said.

However, he said basic criteria for convergence of the single currency such as gross external reserves of not less than three months of import cover for every country as well single digit inflation less than 10 per cent were expected to be met before final take-off.

Dr. Ahortor was doing a presentation on financial and economic reporting at training for members of Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) in Kumasi.

The two-day training was the first in Kumasi but the second of its kind by the JBA. It was co-sponsored by Ecobank and Bank of Ghana, and supported by the Ministry of Finance.

Dr. Ahortor was full of confidence that by 2020 the 15 states would use a single currency.

The Senior Economist said the single currency was yet to be named, adding that, the technocrats of the states would decide its value.

However, there is an indication that the CFA could be chosen as the name, given the fact that majority of the members are francophone.

According to Dr Ahortor, the use of the single currency would enable all manufacturing companies within the ECOWAS to freely enter into any neighbouring country within ECOWAS without any tariffs.

He explained that the states could negotiate with third parties, such as the European Union, for better terms using the single currency and, expressed the hope that, the move would boost the economies of the states.

Dr. Bernard Otabil, General Manager of the Ghana News Agency, urged financial and economic journalists to avoid reports that would have negative impact on the nation’s economy, stressing that, such reportages drive away investors.

He called on JBA members to subject themselves to training to be abreast of new trends to avoid inaccuracies as the world keeps on changing.

Mr Eugene Amo-Mesi, Area Manager of Ecobank Zone 8, said the training was in line with the bank’s policy of promoting small scale enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

He was grateful to JBA for developing the skills of its members through training to stimulate SMEs’ growth by way of good reporting, and pledged Ecobank’s unflinching support for its (JBA) activities.

General Secretary of the JBA, Suleman Mustapha, was full of praise for the sponsors and said all efforts would be made to ensure that JBA lived to its obligation of improving financial and economic reporting to promote SMEs in the country.

Mr. Mustapha called on members to upgrade themselves in order to be in touch with new trends and report accurately and analytically.

From Kingsely E. Hope,Kumasi

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