Member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have agreed to put forward $187 million as capital base for the proposed Central Bank of West Africa.
This would make fund available for infrastructure development and solid liquidity of the region.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray disclosed this while presenting the status of the community at the ongoing First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja on Wednesday, 10 May, 2023.
He said studies on the size and distribution of the capital and reserve pooling have been finalized, explaining however that ” the criteria for pooling reserve, the voting system and establishment of the solidarity and stabilization fund for ECOWAS are still in progress.”
Touray lamented that the region is still grappling with the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of macroeconomic convergence.
He said: “The performance in terms of macroeconomic convergence of the member states, the preliminary data from member States in 2022 showed negative impact of lingering effects of COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian-Ukraine war, which have put more pressure on member states performance in terms of macroeconomic convergence.”
He said the situation of the region deteriorated further in 2022 compared to 2021, adding that more work needs to be done towards meeting both the primary and secondary convergence criteria for the ECOWAS single currency.
He said that none of the member states met all the primary or secondary convergence criteria in 2022 same in 2021.
He disclosed that in response to the challenges facing the community, the commission has embarked on numerous activities and increased efforts towards Economic and Monetary Union and efforts to deploy the right infrastructure to address the deficits in the community as well as building bridges and the connectivity necessary for economic integration and improvement in the well-being of the people.
He revealed that other areas of interests where the commission has made great strides include; investment in human capital development in the community, humanitarian assistance to citizens who are victims of both man-made and natural disasters and promoting gender equality and youth empowerment.