Ghana is seeking to host the ECOWAS central bank which is expected to be set up in the coming months.
The bank would be critical ahead of the introduction of the ECOWAS common currency the ‘Eco’ from January 2020.
ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of Micro Economic Policy said Ghana is one of the leading countries in line to host the bank.
Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku told Starr FM’s World Today Extra radio show in Accra that “There are major countries including Ghana that is actively seeking to host the central bank.
Ghana is one of the leading countries to host the central bank, we know countries seeking for the presidency, and we know countries seeking to host the bank”
In June 2019, the 15-member community agreed to adopt the ‘Eco’ as the single currency in the region.
That was in a bid to ensure effective integration, in addition to existing visa-free travel policy.
Strength of the Eco
A floating exchange rate and inflation targeting will help regulate the flow and value of the new currency.
Analysts expect that countries that are eligible to adopt the Eco will maintain good macroeconomic policies to ensure the strength of the currency.
So far however, no country has been able to meet the four main criteria required; namely, a single-digit inflation rate at the end of each year; a fiscal deficit of no more than 4% of the GDP; a central bank deficit-financing of no more than 10% of the previous year’s tax revenues and gross external reserves that can give import cover for a minimum of three months.
Dr. Apraku however said “If you would had been at this meeting you would have seen the level of enthusiasm and, the level of high expectation that the heads of state have.
So this is a marching order the heads of state have given us and we take it seriously. We are going to do our best. We know there are challenges but never before have expectations been so high.”
Ghana has already won the bid to host the secretariat of the Africa Continental free trade area. That essentially makes the nation the economic capital of Africa.
Proponents of the ECOWAS central bank believe that if the country also wins the bid, the gains would be endless.
World Today Extra airs this and every Thursday from 6.30pm -8pm on Starr 103.5 FM in Ghana.