End of Year Statutory Meetings of WAMA, WAMI, WAIFEM
Freetown, 13th February, 2020
The Central Bank Governors of the six West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) Member countries and the Governor of the Central Bank of French Speaking West Africa (BCEAO) have met to discuss among other issues relating to the implementation of the single currency in the six member state and the West African Region.
This meeting took place on Thursday 13th February during the 40th Meeting of the Committee of Governors of Central Banks of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ).
This meeting is part of the ongoing 2019 End of Year Statutory Meetings of West African Monetary Agency (WAMA), West African Monetary Institution (WAMI) and West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) at the Freetown International Conference Centre in Freetown.
During the opening session of the meeting, the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone Prof. Kelfala M. Kallon regarded the this year’s meeting of Central Bank Governors as the most attended in recent years, noting that this is a clear demonstration of their collective interest and the importance they attached to the economic integration agenda of the sub region.
After highlighting the gains made by the region in recent past in terms of macroeconomic growth, he urged authorities in WAMZ to maintain fiscal discipline by including budget deficit criteria in national legal frameworks and annual budget processes and implementing effective debt management strategies.
“As we work towards the single currency, we must learn important lessons from the experiences of the Euro zone; mainly the Euro zone crisis which was caused by the solving debt problems of Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. We must refrain from entering into monetary union without strong macroeconomic fundamentals that are base on sustainable convergence criteria,” he said.
According to him, despite the challenges that they face, they must be gratified that the quest for a monetary union in the sub region remains relevant and credible as there are significant benefits that will be derived from it, which includes macroeconomic stability.
He reaffirmed the government of Sierra Leone’s commitment to meet all four (4) prescribed convergence criteria this year.
The Chairman of the Committee of Governors, Dr Lounceny Nabe, Governor of the Central Bank of Guinea said that Guinea is convinced that the desire to have a single currency for the region takes precedence over any misunderstandings, and calls on all to learn from their differences.
He reiterated the economic growth that was witness among member states in the sub region.
He said during his term, as Chairman of the Committee of Governors he has followed the commitment made in Conakry Guinea in the last meeting of the Committee of Governors, noting that he is optimistic that his successor will continue with the implementations that are planned in the road map.
He thanked all for their contributions to his tenure.
The meeting of Governors will precede the meeting of convergence of council of the WAMZ which comprise Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors of WAMZ and BCEAO which will be held on Friday 14th February 2020.