32th Ordinary Technical Meeting of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee
and Operations and Administration of WAMA is currently underway at the Kairaba Beach hotel in Banjul.
The forum that commenced on Monday Feb. 1 is highly graced by various representatives of the ECOWAS region and hosted by the Central Bank of The Gambia.
In his remarks, the outgoing chairman of the Technical Committee of WAMA, Moses K. Tule said that he was glad to inform that significant progress has also been made in terms of harmonizing the rules and regulations governing payments systems in ECOWAS to guide the implementation of the payments and settlements system project.
“This is in our view will help facilitate trade in the sub-region and boost intra-ECOWAS trade,” he said. “Although we have been able to achieve required milestones, we still have more work to do.”
He added that at this juncture, they would like to implore the ECOWAS Commission to fast track the process of revising the roadmap while ensuring the involvement of all stakeholders, particularly the Central Banks.
In his official opening remarks, Bakary Jammeh, the governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia said that they were delighted to welcome all delegates to this important meeting.
“I also take this opportunity to recognise the important role played by Member States in fashioning out guiding principles that have guaranteed peace and security, continued coexistence and strong solidarity towards the common interest for regional integration” he noted.
He lamented that The Gambia appreciates the spirit of solidarity exhibited by Member States in resolving the political impasse last year.
“The sub-region faced challenges of varying degrees in recent past noting that these factors did not only put pressure on exchange rates and prices but also hampered public finance and economic growth” he said.
Economic growth declined sharply from 4.3% in 2015 to 2.2% in 2016 but recovery under way with projected growth of 3% and 3.8% in 2017 and 2018.
For his part, Momodou Bamba Saho, director general of West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) said that the meeting came against the backdrop of a promising economic recovery in the region.
“ECOWAS economic activity was more resilient in the first half of 2017 with a growth rate estimated at 1.5% compared to a contraction of 0.2% in the corresponding period of the preceding year,” he said.
As part of the assessment of the progress made in the implementation of the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Program EMCP), joint WAMA/WAMI/ECOWAS Commission Multilateral Surveillance Missions were carried out in April and September 2017 to review performance in December 2016 and June 2017.
He revealed that their latest assessment which will be presented in detail at these meetings shows that the level of performance deteriorated particularly with respect to the criterion on inflation.