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Economy - Development

"Common African currency in 2010"

afrol News, 29 November - The African Union Group of Eminent Persons on reparation has concluded plans to introduce a bank of all African currency in 2010. Named Gold Mandela, the suggested continental legal tender was expected to boost investment and trade in Africa.

Peter Alexander Egom, the Coordinator of African Capital & Commodity Services Company, is organising a five day summit designed to bring together more than 200 delegates from all over Africa and the Diaspora to brainstorm, network and exchange creative ideals towards the realisation of the project. Mr Egom, said the proposed bank would issue Gold Mandela, as the legal tender for transaction of business among members countries.

Mr Egom said the proposed common currency bank would be actualised in the next four years because "we have concrete plans to move Africa forward in the manner the Chinese are doing. We want Africa to be the centre of global economy. The Black race, have spent 500 years to build the economies of Europe and the Americas, and the time has come to do it for ourselves,” Mr Egom told Nigeria's daily 'Vanguard'.

Mr Egom said Gold Mandela would not be a pipe-dream like the ECO, a common currency being designed by five Western African states.

"Indeed, the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI), which has had the mandate to fast-track the emergence of the ECO, originally by January 2003, then by July 2005 and has now rescheduled to fly by July 2009. Why ECO has been a pipe dream is that the pillars or promoters of the currency are located in France and Europe, not in Africa," he said.

For years, nationals of the five West African states have been putting heads together to introduce a single currency called the ECO. But the lofty idea seems to be buried under the drawers and could not therefore be implemented.

And the irony of it all is that member countries of West Africa Monetary Zone (WAMZ) - Ghana, The Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea - keep deferring the launch of ECO.

While the fate of ECO hangs in the balance, Ghanaian officials on Monday said even if ECO is launched, it would take their country three years to do so.

According to the first Deputy Governor of THE Bank of Ghana, Mr Van Lare Dosoo, the Eco would not be legal tender in Ghana until after some two to three years of its introduction. "Realistically, we are not going to use ECO but until two or three years after," Mr Dosoo disclosed.

The re-denomination of Ghana's cedi currency, according to officials, would impede the implementation of the ECO. Bank officials were strategising efforts to put the weak cedis to the level of currencies of other countries.

It was decided by a WAMZ meeting in Banjul last year that ECO would be introduced in December 2009 provided member countries met four of the five convergence criteria.

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