Stakeholders Meet in Abuja on ECOWAS Single Currency, Others

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Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

Critical stakeholders in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sub-region, including central banks, ministries of finance, policy makers, legislators and the academia are to brainstorm in Abuja to seek ways of deepening the promotion of regional integration and cooperation.

In a bid to help smoothen the transition to West African Monetary Union (WAMU), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the West Africa Monetary Institute (WAMI) are jointly hosting a seminar on the transition to the ECOWAS single currency.

The theme of the seminar, which is to coincide with the ongoing West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) meetings in Abuja, is ‘Exchange Rate Arrangements in the Transition to ECOWAS Single Currency 2020’.

It is designed to promote critical discourse and exchanges among central banks, ministries of finance, policy makers, legislators and the academic community on exchange rate arrangements, the options and implications.

The Director General of WAMI, Dr. Ngozi Egbuna, stated that the seminar would provide a better understanding of exchange rate arrangements in the transition to monetary union; highlight role of exchange rate in a successful monetary union.

“It will also provide alternative exchange rate arrangements for the member countries in the transition to monetary union; and propose transitional arrangement designed to prevent real exchange rate misalignments in the run-up to and few years of monetary union.

“The motivation for initiating the seminar during the WAMZ meetings is to add a new dimension of policy discourse, that seeks to bring to the fore contemporary macroeconomic policy issues worth reflecting on in a regional context; uncover grey areas and bring to bear cross fertilization of ideas and sharing of experiences with specialists on the relevant issue-areas.

“The main objective of the seminar series is to promote exchange of ideas among central banks, ministries of finance, policy makers, legislators and the academic community on topical issues,” a statement by the organisers said.

The plenary and moderated panel discussions at the five-day seminar will feature select subject-matter which experts would deliver their respective points of view and perspectives through presentations, discussions and audience participation and responses.

Technical experts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB) will also facilitate sessions at the seminar, Egbuna added.