'ECO' Single Trade Currency for West African Countries

11 Jul 2019  Thu

On 6th July, the Economic Community of West African States’ summit was organised in Abuja, Nigeria. The group comprises of leaders from 15 West African Countries, and according to media reports they have decided to go with the name 'ECO' for their single trade currency that will be used within the region.

Currently, Nigeria, Liberia, and Ghana have their own currencies while Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo use the CFA franc. The single currency was supposed to be introduced in 2000, but the plan has been pushed forward several times. The latest target is 2020. Experts believe that the new currency would improve trade relations between the West African nations as exchange rate costs will not be taken into consideration. This will eventually lead to economic development in the region. The new currency would also tackle issues such as lack of independence of central banks. However, some economists suggest that the idea would not be practical as each country in the region differs significantly in terms of economy. They feel that the 2020 deadline will be postponed again if the countries are not able to introduce new economic policies for the Single Trade Currency.

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

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