The governments of the West African Monetary Zone, WAMZ, on the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme, mainly English speaking countries in West Africa, have rejected the adoption of the “Eco” by Francophone Africa countries in place of their CFA Franc.
The position was announced by Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, after an Extra-ordinary Meeting of Finance Ministers and Governors of Central Banks of WAMZ, in Abuja, Thursday.
They said that the declaration was at variance with the decisions of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for the adoption of “Eco” as the name of an independent ECOWAS Single Currency.
The Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors who constitute the WAMZ Convergence Council expressed concern that the President of Cote d’Ivoire, Alassane Outtara, who is also the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State Government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union unilaterally renamed the CFA Franc as Eco.
The council urged all member countries of ECOWAS to adhere to the decision of the Authority of Heads of State towards the implementation of the revised roadmap of the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme.
It, therefore, called for an urgent Extra-ordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government to iron out the Eco issue.
A communiqué on the position of the council read, “The Meeting noted with concern, the declaration by His Excellency, Alassane Ouattara, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union, WAEMU, on December 21, 2019, to unilaterally rename the CFA Franc as ‘Eco’ by 2020.
“WAMZ Convergence Council wishes to emphasize that this action not in line with the decisions of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for the adoption of the ‘Eco’ as the name of an independent ECOWAS Single Currency.
“WAMZ Convergence Council reiterates the importance for all ECOWAS member countries to adhere to the decisions of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government towards the implementation of the revised roadmap of the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme.
“The WAMZ Convergence Council recommends that an Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the WAMZ Member States be convened soon to discuss this matter and other related issues.”
Present at the meeting were: Marbury Njie, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Republic of The Gambia; Ken Ofori Atta, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Ghana; Mamadi Camara, Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Guinea; Samuel. Tweah Jr, Minister of Finance and Development Planning of the Republic of Liberia; and Ja ob Saffa Finance Minister of Sierra Leone.
The Central Bank Governor of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele led others including Ernest Addison of Ghana; Louceny Nabe of Guinea; Aloysius Tarlue of Liberia; Kelfala Kallon of Sierra Leone and the Central Bank of the Gambia Senior Advisor, Buah Saidy.
President Ouattara had after a meeting of WAEMU Heads of State with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, on December 21, made the unsettling announcement, re-naming CFA Franc “Eco”.
He also announced WAEMU’s decision to pull out member countries’ reserves from the French Central Bank.