An ambitious plan for 15 West African countries to adopt a common currency has been pushed back to 2027.
The eco, meant to have been launched in 2020, was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and its aftershocks, the Economic Community of West African States said in a statement on Saturday, following an ordinary session held in the Ghanaian capital, Accra.
“We have a new road map and the new convergence path that will cover the period of 2022 to 2026,” Ecowas Commission President Jean-Claude Kassi Brou said in the statement. “2027, that will be the launching of the eco.”
The West African bloc has been pursuing a common currency project for more than two decades to help remove trade barriers, ease the cost of doing business, and boost economic growth in a region of more than 380 million people.
Within the bloc, eight countries that already share the CFA franc have started reforms of their own ahead of the wider currency project.