Before we ask the ultimate question; “will ECOWAS’ new common currency ECO really echo?” there are more important questions that must be asked.
A few days ago, the Union made it known that it was adopting a new common currency, ECO but there’s an already an existing one, the CFA Franc which is pegged to the value of the Euro.
1. What happens to the CFA Franc
Currently, eight (8) of the fifteen (15) member-states use the CFA Franc. So the first question is what happens to the CFA Franc?
Africa has a ridiculous record of coming up with policies and never seeing them through before coming up with a similar one. So this doesn’t come as a surprise.
2. Will the ECO really be a common currency?
Perhaps the biggest issue in the Union is the division amongst member states, and it really makes you wonder if any proposed policy can be truly ‘common.’
The French-English dichotomy always props its head. None of the English countries use the CFA, and it is perceived that the ECO will be for them.
3. Should there still be talks about trade liberalization?
One of the main reasons for the formation of ECOWAS in 1975 was to consolidate the economies of member-states through trade liberalization.
It’s 2019 and the same plea is still repeated at its most recent meeting. It makes you wonder what chance any sort of policy proposed by the Union has to be successful.
4. Why not a digital currency?
If Africa’s heart beat at the same pulse with the rest of the world, what we should have been thinking about is a common digital currency, not a duplication of an already existing one that has been everything but common so far.