The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have adopted a single currency, named eco, to be launched by 2020.
Although the idea of the single currency for the West African region was first discussed almost 30 years ago, it was finally adopted on Saturday during a meeting of the 15 member countries.
Eight of the countries which make up ECOWAS -Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo – currently use the CFA franc, the other seven ECOWAS countries use their own currencies.
The aim is to have the currency in place by next year and leaders in Abuja reaffirmed the “gradual approach to the single currency starting with countries that meet the convergent criteria,” a statement said.
ECOWAS was set up in 1975 and comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo –– representing a total population of around 385 million.