The Director General of the West African Monetary Agency or (WAMA) Mr. Momodou B. Saho, is stressing the need for members states of ECOWAS to strengthen their resolve to maintain macroeconomic stability and prioritize economic diversification that will improve business climate in order to unleash the region’s tremendous potential.
The Director General made the urge here on Thursday, 27 July at the official opening of the 31st Joint Ordinary Meeting of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, and Operations and Administration of WAMA’s activities.
“Our broad policy messages for these meetings are that countries impacted upon by commodity price declines need to move faster to implement reforms that will stem the decline in revenues and external reserves and reduces exchange rate volatility.”
According to Mr. Saho, other countries in the region that are still experiencing robust growth and low inflation should use the opportunity to address emerging vulnerabilities related to widening deficit and higher public debt from a position of relative strength.
The high-level statutory meeting, which runs for nine days, is currently taking place in Monrovia in the auditorium of the Central Bank of Liberia. The statutory conference is aimed at finding workable solutions to the numerous economic challenges facing the embattle economies, bringing together officials of member states, including Ministers of Finance, Governors of Central Banks and Supervisors of the West African Monetary Zone or WAMZ.
The West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) is an autonomous and specialized agency of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that was established in 1996 as a result of the transformation of the West African Clearing House (WACH).
In retrospect, WACH was also established in 1975 to serve as a multilateral payment facility to promote trade within the sub-region besides routing and clearing trade transactions and services.
The Agency has been charged with the responsibility of monitoring,
coordinating and implementing the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation
Programme (EMCP), geared towards the creating a single currency for West Africa.
WAMA continues to have consultation with its member Central Banks on the appropriateness of the budget sharing formula, including agreement on an acceptable burden sharing mechanism which is critical to ensuring that it is adequately resourced and for strengthening the solidarity that has characterized the collaboration of member Central Banks in managing the affairs of the agency.
Mr. Saho told the audience that since the last meeting held in Freetown, Sirrra Leone in February, WAMA has worked to implement the directives of the committee of Governors and activities outlineed in the work plan, such as analytical work on the choice of an appropriate common monetary policy framework, estimation of an optional inflation in WCOWAS inter alia.
Meanwhile, the Representative of the ECOWAS Commission Gideon Gbappy says there exists strong collaboration between ECOWAS and WAMA in the implementation of the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Program ( EMCP). This collaboration is demonstrated on several fronts, including the effective participation of WAMA technical and regional meeting on the ECOWAS Multilateral Surveillance mechanism and the roadmap for the ECOWAS single currency programmed.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne