West African finance ministers and central bank governors of the Economic Community of West African States agreed at a meeting in Côte d’Ivoire to speed up the creation of a single currency next year.
“At a ministerial level, we’ve established a roadmap” for the establishment of a new currency in 2020, Ivorian Finance Minister Adama Kone said.
The proposed single currency “is no longer a technological utopia, it is the result of a political will to respond to the aspirations of the regional organization for the last 30 years,” he said.
The Ivorian minister conditioned the success of the new currency on the removal of “all internal barriers and regulatory obstacles to the free movement of goods, capital, services and people”.
The ECOWAS, a 15-member regional grouping, has set a gradual approach that allows countries to join the monetary union when they meet the convergence criteria.
Côte d’Ivoire and several other French-speaking ECOWAS members already share the CFA franc and have done so since colonial times, while members including Nigeria and Ghana have their own currencies.