ECO could suffer depreciation amidst unresolved border closure

Business News of Friday, 10 January 2020



President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has warned against the likely depreciation of the proposed common currency, the ECO, bearing in mind the economic trade scope of some West African countries amidst unresolved closure of some of its trade borders.

According to the President of the Union, Dr Joseph Obeng said the adoption of the ECO, without an effective monetary system, could also result in poor trade numbers considering the current trade volumes among member states.

“There should be a caution here. If we have to adopt a single currency then we have to get an effective monitory system in place. If you look at Nigeria which has a GDP larger of the entire Sub-Region, if we do not take care, if Nigeria takes a unilateral action like it recently did with the closure of its border, it will affect the bulk of the entire sub-regional currency,” he told JoyBusiness.

Government in 2019 made the announcement that it will soon join eight West African Countries which have committed to using a common currency, the ECO, early in 2020.

The Communications Directorate at the Office of President Akufo-Addo in an earlier statement said the decision will help remove trade and monetary barriers, reduce transaction costs, boost economic activity, and raise the living standards of countries involved.

“We, in Ghana, are determined to do whatever we can to enable us [to] join the Member States of UEMOA soon, in the use of the ECO, as we believe it will help remove trade and monetary barriers, reduce transaction costs, boost economic activity and raise the living standards of our people,” said President Nana Akufo-Addo’s office in a statement.

This came after the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara made a declaration on the decision at a news conference in Ivory Coast to discontinue the use of the Financial Community of Africa (CFA) franc currency.