By Africa today
Fifteen countries in West Africa have agreed to adopt a single currency next year called the eco.
Though, experts are divided on the impact it would have on the region’s economy, especially in the eight member states which use CFA franc –backed by France, whereas, negotiations for the joint currency have been in the works for 30 years.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said the rollout will be gradual with countries meeting the laid-out criteria joining first.
Meanwhile, proponents of the eco say the single currency will facilitate trade, lower transaction costs and facilitate payments amongst ECOWAS’ 385 million people.
However, critics worry that Nigeria, the region’s biggest economy, will dominate monetary policy and stall the projected benefits.
To economists like Ferdinand Backoup and Daniel Ndoye, a single currency would prove a valuable instrument in the international monetary system.