The Economic Community of West African States authority has revealed that countries within the West African sub-region will be able to use a single currency called ECO, starting from January 2020.
The currency was endorsed by the West African leaders at their 55th Ordinary Session and a road map was approved towards the currency’s issuance. The roadmap will ensure that all member countries meet three primary criteria for the adoption of the currency.
A communiqué read by Nigeria’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mustapha Suleiman noted that the regional leaders instructed the ECOWAS Commission to work in collaboration with West African Monetary Agency as the commission is also expected to work with West African Monetary Institute and all central banks to settle on a symbol for the single currency.
Also speaking, The ECOWAS Chairman President Issoufou Mahamadou explained that the revised roadmap does not affect the date for the issuance of the single currency in January 2020.
“We have not changed that but we will continue with assessment between now and then.
“We are of the view that countries that are ready will launch the single currency and countries that are not yet ready will join the program as they comply with all six convergence criteria.”
ECOWAS was set up in 1975 and has a combined population of 385 million. It consists of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
The current decision to adopt one currency is similar to the move made by the European Union to adopt a single currency called the Euro.