The 41st meeting of the Technical Committee of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) has elected Liberia to chair the regional organization. The meeting is being held at the Central Bank of Liberia in Monrovia to deliberate on the status of implementation of the WAMZ work programme, bringing together WAMZ member states, ECOWAS commission and WAMI.
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Liberia, Deputy Minister for Economic Management at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning or MFDP, Alvin E. Attah welcomes all delegates to the historic coastline city of Monrovia for the 41st meeting of the WANZ’s Technical Committee.
Minister Attah says the meeting provides an opportunity to take stock of the level of progress made toward monetary and economic cooperation, and an opportunity to deliberate on strategies and policies to enhance monetary integration and harmonization of policies under a unified WAMZ.
He continues that Liberia had been hard hit by various shocks in recent years, including the 2014 Ebola epidemic, slump in the prices of major export commodities (rubber and iron ore) and the higher than anticipated impact of the drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia that contributed to reduction in aggregate demand in the economy.
He explains that the review of Liberia’s key macroeconomic indicators as at end December 2016 revealed that real GDP contracted by 1.2 per cent in 2016, from zero growth in 2015 due to poor performance of the secondary sector, while the rate of inflation increased to 12.5 per cent in the review period due mainly to the depreciation of the local currency attributed to the decline in net inflow of remittance and slowdown in foreign exchange interventions in the market by the Central Bank of Liberia.
He informs the delegates that Liberia made significant progress towards ensuring that it achieves and sustains all of the convergence criteria but there were challenges encountered along the way. Minister Attah however assures that the government was committed to advancing the goal of a common and harmonized WAMZ.
By Bridgett Milton-Editing by Jonathan Browne