government of the Gambia through the Ministry of Finance (MoFEA) and the
Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) will host the 2018 Statutory Meetings of West
African Monetary Institutions from 1st to 9th February.
The meeting is geared to provide a platform to take stock of the level of progress towards achieving a Monetary and Economic Union.
The platform will also provide the opportunity for deliberations on strategies and policies that will enhance monetary integration and harmonisation of policies, both fiscal and monetary policies included under a unified WAMZ region.
In his welcoming statement, Lamin Camara, permanent sectary, Ministry of Finance said that the Gambia has just come out of an autocratic regime to a democratically elected government committed to the rule of law, freedom of speech and socio-economic development ending the 22nd years of dictatorship.
“On top of our difficult starting position, the economy has been hit by a bad agricultural season which reduced our main cash crops by about half” he said.
He noted that the economy growth in The Gambia slowed down sharply from 4.3% in 2015 to 2.2% in 2016, adding that due to improved fiscal and monetary policy of the new government the economy has started to recover with real GDP growth of 3% in 2017.
In his opening statement, Lassane Kabore said that the ECOWAS Commission remains committed to strengthen its collaboration with WAMI, especially within the framework of the on-going Joint Multilateral Surveillance Missions to ECOWAS member States and the ECOWAS-WAMI Joint Task Force on Trade-related Issues.
“on the trade-related issues, all the WAMZ Member states are now implementing the ECOWAS Trade Liberation Scheme (ETLS) and only one Member States is yet to officially commence the implementation of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET)’ he said.
He added that the Community Customs Code as well as the directives on the harmonisation of the VAT and excise duties for cigarettes was adopted by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers at their last Ordinary Session in December 2017.
For her part, Dr. Ngozi E. Egbuna, Director General of West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) informed the gathering that the current Technical Committee Meeting, several documents have been prepared by WAMI and its relevant Expert Committee on salient issues relating to various aspects of the WAMZ Programme to facilitate their deliberations.
“The macroeconomic performance generally improved in the Zone during the review period, characterised by Nigeria’s substantial recovery from recession, rebound in international commodity prices and pro-growth domestic policy reforms being implemented by Member States” she said.