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NOTICES & DOCUMENTS  

Sierra Leone Participates in 2013 WAMA/WAMZ Statutory Meetings
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Jan 28, 2014, 17:00
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PRESS RELEASE


Sierra Leone Participates in 2013 WAMA/WAMZ Statutory Meetings

 

Sierra Leone participated in the 2013 Statutory Meetings of the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA), the West African Monetary Zones (WAMZ) Committee of Central Bank Governors; the Convergence Council of Ministers and Governors and the ECOWAS Convergence Council of Ministers and Governors of Central Banks held in Banjul, The Gambia, from January 13 17, 2014.  The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) delegation was headed by the Honourable Minister of State, Finance, Alhaji F.B. Mansaray while the Bank of Sierra Leone delegation was headed by the Governor, Mr. Sheku Sambadeen Sesay.

 

The meetings considered the status of implementation of the WAMZ Convergence Program as well as the state of preparedness for the launch of a WAMZ monetary union single currency, the ECO, (after it has been postponed 3 times) and a Common Central Bank on or before January 1, 2015 and also reviewed the timelines of the Roadmap of the ECOWAS Single Currency to be introduced by 2020.

 

Four primary criteria are considered namely: Single digit Inflation; Minimum Gross External Reserves requirement of 3 months imports cover; fiscal deficit to GDP (excluding grants) of not more than 4 percent and Central Bank financing of fiscal deficit not more than 10 percent. The six secondary criteria include Domestic arrears; Tax Revenue/GDP; Salary mass/Tax revenue; Domestic Investment/Tax revenue; Real Interest rate and Real Exchange Rate Stability.

 

On the performance of the six WAMZ member countries (Liberia, Guinea, Ghana, Gambia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) relative to the macroeconomic convergence criteria which was assessed based on June 2013 Multilateral Surveillance data, Nigeria met all four primary criteria and three out of six secondary criteria. 

 

Sierra Leone and Liberia met three out of four primary criteria with Sierra Leone missing only the inflation criterion.  Gambia, Ghana and Guinea met two primary criteria each. The two difficult criteria to meet during this review period were Fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP and Single digit inflation.  Sierra Leone is expected to meet all four primary criteria by the next assessment period of December 2014, given the current performance on inflation

 

The WAMZ Convergence Council agreed that the political will of the Authority of WAMZ Heads of State is required to push the single currency project further as member countries continue to make efforts to implement other aspects of the integration process. 

 

To this end, the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government at an extraordinary meeting held on October 25, 2013 in Dakar, Senegal, appointed The Heads of State of Ghana and Niger to oversee the implementation of the Road-map of the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme.

 

The meetings also extensively discussed Dollarization in member countries and encouraged countries to implement policies geared towards stabilization of their domestic currencies, the achievement of a single currency in ECOWAS and minimization of cash transactions in the sub-region. In an effort to promote financial system stability throughout the ECOWAS, member countries were also urged, in line with international best practice, to implement appropriate financial sector policies and guidelines designed to strengthen the regulatory and supervisory environments of their domestic financial sectors, including the capital base of their banking systems.


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