ECOWAS member countries have agreed to provide $187 million as the capital base for the proposed Central Bank of West Africa. This move aims to provide funds for infrastructure development and ensure solid liquidity in the region. The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, disclosed this during the ongoing First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja on Wednesday.
Dr. Touray added that studies on the size and distribution of the capital and reserve pooling have been finalized. However, the criteria for pooling reserves, the voting system, and the establishment of the solidarity and stabilization fund for ECOWAS are still in progress.
The ECOWAS President also expressed concern about the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the region’s macroeconomic convergence. He noted that member states’ preliminary data for 2022 showed a negative impact of the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war, which have put more pressure on member states’ performance in terms of macroeconomic convergence.
Dr. Touray also stated that none of the member states met all the primary or secondary convergence criteria in 2022 or 2021. He emphasized the need to meet both the primary and secondary convergence criteria for the ECOWAS single currency, adding that more work needs to be done in this regard.
In response to these challenges, the ECOWAS Commission has embarked on numerous activities to improve economic and monetary union, deploy the right infrastructure, and build bridges and connectivity necessary for economic integration and improvement in the well-being of the people. Other areas of interest where the commission has made significant strides include investment in human capital development, humanitarian assistance, and promoting gender equality and youth empowerment.
With the commitment of member countries to fund the proposed Central Bank of West Africa, there is hope that the region will see an improvement in infrastructure development and liquidity. The continued efforts of the ECOWAS Commission in addressing the challenges facing the community are expected to lead to greater economic integration and improved well-being for the people of West Africa.