[West Africa’s Eco Currency]
CNBC: “Ouattara told journalists…he does not foresee this being achievable within the next few years and therefore does not expect the Eco to be implemented for another three to five years.”
The arrival of West Africa’s new flagship common currency, the Eco, could now be up to five years away after being derailed by the coronavirus pandemic, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara announced.
Leaders of the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the broader 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had hoped that the replacement for the French colonial CFA franc would be in place by the end of this year.
The agreed criteria among WAEMU members for the currency’s launch was for national budget deficits to be contained at or below 3% of GDP (gross domestic product).
However, Ouattara told journalists in the city of Bouafle on Saturday that in light of the economic hit from the Covid-19 pandemic, he does not foresee this being achievable within the next few years and therefore does not expect the Eco to be implemented for another three to five years, according to Reuters.
The IMF projects that the Sub-Saharan African economy will contract by 3.2% in 2020, its worst decline on record.
The CFA franc, comprising both the Central African XAF and the West African XOF, is currently pegged to the euro at CFA 655.96. The arrival of the Covid-19 crisis and the associated drop in commodity prices placed the currency under pressure, as uncertainty arose over whether the respective central banks (the Bank of Central African States and the Central Bank of West African States) could sustain the peg.
Read rest of the story here: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/29/west-africas-new-currency-could-now-be-delayed-by-five-years.html