Speaking during the opening at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center, President Barrow said the objective of the Association of African Central Bank Governors is to promote cooperation on monetary, banking, and financial matters in Africa.
He added that the association conforms to the principles of the African Union Free Trade Area established to integrate African economies.
With this in mind, he continued, "we eagerly look forward to the results of your discussions, especially the review of the effectiveness of our international economic and financial institutions."
President Barrow further commended the Association for devising an integrated continental payment system, adding that:" I understand that you achieved it through the establishment of the African inter-regional payment integration task force, working groups, and expert panels tasked to guide the monitoring and implementation of the project."
However, President Barrow said digital innovations have impressively transformed the global financial landscape, with the emergence of digital wallets, mobile transfers, blockchain technologies, and interconnected payment systems.
According to him, this development has the potential to scale up and speed up Africa’s economic development through financial inclusion, economies of scale, and lower transaction costs, among others.
"Your deliberations cannot exclude the current global challenges that have adverse effects on African economies. We continue to experience decreasing supply of basic and essential commodities, amid the rising demand for them, resulting in higher market prices," he pointed out.
He further urged the association to suggest practical ways to reinforce the resilience of our economies, noting that the world economies, particularly those in Africa, would continue to face shocks and that we should prepare for such unexpected challenges and maintain resilient economies.
"With resilient economies, we will be better positioned to implement policies that ensure job creation, women empowerment, and youth employment in Africa. To sum it up, we must implement policies that raise living standards on the continent and transform our nations into higher-income countries."
Buah Saidy, the governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia said: "we are at cross roads in our quest for development and having started recovery from the Covid-19, our economies are again beset by another major external shock, emanating from the Russia – Ukraine war.
Mr. Saidy added that the strong recovery anticipated this year is being threatened by the adverse effects of the war, while stating that the latest forecast by the IMF painted a gloomy picture of the prospects of the global economy and downgraded its growth forecast to 3.2 percent for this year compared to 6.1 percent a year ago.