The West African Monetary zone convergence council, an organized body which was tasked to enforce the eligibility requirements from member states for the adoption of the proposed common currency for the sub-region has rejected the name ECO as the preferred name to be given to the West-African single currency.
According to WAMZ, which is made up of non-CFA zone countries such as, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Guinea, “Mr. Ouattara’s pronouncement is not in line with Authority of Heads of States and Government of ECOWAS for the adoption of ECO as the name of an independent ECOWAS single currency.”
A communique from a meeting held in Abuja, which saw the participation of governors of West African central banks, as well as the finance and Economy Ministers, revealed that the decision taken by the Ivorian president, Alassane Ouattara aided by Emmanuel Macron to choose and declare the name ECO was unilateral as it lacked broader consultation from key stakeholders, especially the majority West African countries whom are expected to use the currency.
In accordance, an extraordinary meeting has been scheduled for the leadership of the West African Monetary Zone to deliberate on the declaration made by the Ivorian president and also discuss the way forward.
The inferences from the meeting affirm the fact that ECOWAS as a body has long proposed and planned to operate a common currency within its monetary framework. The name and plans of implementation has been on the body’s negotiation table for so many years and the final take on the currency was expected to be a product of a collective decision-making process rather than a one-sided hasty conclusion which is being generalized over the entire West Africa.
Apart from the official rejection by WAMZ, the ECO and its associated terms have since been under criticism by discerning Africans and non-Africans. Typical of the concerns of the critics is the suspicion of hidden neo-colonial arrangements by the French government, purported to capture the entire West African economy.