The Speaker of the ECOWAS parliament, Dr Sidie Mohamed Tunis says the lack of a Single Currency in the ECOWAS subregion has “impeded viable exports” which currently stands at a 10% margin, a development he described as “very low” for a region of over 400 million.
Dr Tunis made this known at the opening of the 5th ECOWAS Legislature held in Bissau, capital of Guinea-Bissau, with the theme “ECOWAS Common Currency and the Inter Bank Payment System as Promoters of Regional Trade”.
He said the lack of a single currency among ECOWAS Member countries has been a major factor aggravating transaction costs for intra-regional trade.
To address the challenges, and to increase the volume of trade in the region, Dr Tunis said the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government decided to accelerate the process of creating a single currency through the adoption of the “convergence pact” and a new roadmap for the launch of the single currency by 2027.
According to Dr Tunis, the decision by the Heads of State had led to significant progress in recent years, stressing that the reason for the Seminar was to educate members of the Parliament on the policy.
He said: “It would provide a greater insight into the coordination of economic policies, and the development of a payment system for the Member States to facilitate their economic integration. Furthermore, this seminar would address all the other challenges we are determined to meet, to achieve the single currency by 2027, as announced.”
He gave an assurance that the Parliament would contribute fully to the process of creating the single currency by ensuring effective monitoring of the Community’s bodies and institutions in charge of this programme, and by promoting the support of the populations.
The President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embalo expressed his support in actualising the adoption of the Single Currency within the ECOWAS community.
He said the adoption of a single currency would stimulate development and maintain the friendship, solidarity and cooperation among member countries.
Reporting by Idara Ukpanyang; Editing by Daniel Adejo and Tony Okerafor