West African Monetary Zone Holds 44th Meeting in Accra
ACCRA, GHANA – The 44th meeting of the Technical Committee of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) is convening in Accra, Ghana. The two-day gathering which kicked off Monday, February 4, 2018, as part of the WAMZ statutory meetings has brought together representatives from central banks in the West African region as well as organizations including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), among others. The meetings would among other issues, review presentations on regional economic condition and discuss several monetary and other related issues which encompass reports on Macro-economic Developments and Convergence, financial integration focusing on WAMZ’ Payment System Development; and Integration of the Insurance Sector in the West African Monetary Zone.
The week-long WAMZ Statutory meetings also include meetings of the College of Supervisors of the WAMZ; the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI); the Committee of Governors; and the Convergence Council of Ministers. The Technical Committee will prepare the grounds for the Committee of Governors and Convergence Council meetings by reviewing the technical reports prepared by WAMI and other stakeholder institutions and to proffer appropriate and actionable recommendations to move the integration process of the WAMZ forward.
In her opening remarks, the Director-General of the WAMZ Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi E. Egbuna, said there is a need to protect the economies of member countries through strong cooperation and solidarity. Countries, she said need to cooperate “in a fair and balanced manner to engender inclusiveness thereby taking care of all without leaving anyone behind.”
In a report highlighting macroeconomic developments and convergence in the WAMZ, it was reported that Real GDP growth for the Zone improved to 2.3 percent as at the end of June 2018, compared to 1.1 percent as at the end of June 2017, reflecting domestic policy adjustments, increased momentum in global economic activity and a pick-up in commodity prices. According to the report, inflation in the Zone moderated to 11.1 percent at the end of June 2018, from 14.5 percent in the corresponding period in 2017. Countries also showed relative stability in their foreign exchange markets.
According to the report, the performance of Member States was mixed on the fiscal front. Price stability, the report noted, remained the focus of monetary policy in all the Member States. However, according to the report, the stance of monetary policy varied across the zone. “The stance of monetary policy in The Gambia, Ghana and Liberia was accommodative, but tight in Sierra Leone, while in Guinea and Nigeria, it remained unchanged,” the report noted.
The Central Bank of Liberia is among West African Central Banks participating in the 2018 End- of-Year WAMZ Statutory Meetings being hosted by the Ministry of Finance of Ghana and the Bank of Ghana. The CBL delegation informed the Technical Committee of several efforts being implemented in Liberia to achieve price and financial stability geared towards achieving the aspirations of the Government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD). The Technical Committee was informed of the ensuing issuance of the CBL-indexed bills as part of the overall liquidity management in Liberia.