West African nations pin hopes on single currency

epa07712546 Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara (3-R) poses with other heads of states during the 21st Summit of Heads of State of the West African Monetary Union (UEMOA) in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 12 July 2019. The eight-state organization was established in 1994 to promote economic integration among countries that use the West African CFA franc as their currency. EPA-EFE/LEGNAN KOULA

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West African leaders are gathering in Ivory Coast to plan the rollout of a single shared currency.

It is part of a plan to strengthen regional ties and boost trade.

Last month the 15-member Economic Community of West African States, known as ECOWAS, agreed to call the planned currency “Eco”.

Implementation of the Eco was delayed several times, but recent agreement on African free trade area is seen as enough incentive for the region’s leaders to launch it next year after three failed attempts.

The move would mean eight former French colonies giving up their use of the CFA Franc currency.

Eight ECOWAS countries — Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo — jointly use the CFA franc.

They are moored to the single European currency and are gathered in an organisation called the West African Monetary Union, or WAMU.

Via Al Jazeera 

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