Ghana Is Frontrunner In Meeting The Single Currency Criteria - Bawumia

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Friday said Ghana is the most compliant country in the last assessment of the member states of the West African Monetary Zone status of compliance aimed at establishing a single currency by 2020.

He added that the nation emerged the second-best performer in terms of trade integration and ECOWAS trade related protocols and looking forward to sustaining the good performance and even performing better.

He noted that Ghana had met three out of the four macroeconomic convergence criteria and had attained all the secondary criteria outlined towards the establishment of a monetary union in the sub-region.

Vice President Bawumia, therefore, urged member countries of WAMZ to build resilient economies that could withstand external economic shocks in the quest to attaining a monetary union.

He made the observations at the opening ceremony of the 41st Meeting of the Convergence Council of Ministers and Governors of Central Banks of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), in Accra.

The participants comprised; Ministers of Finance and Trade of member countries of WAMZ as well as Governors of the Central Banks of member states and would take stock of the progress made so far in attaining a monetary union and macroeconomic developments and convergence reports on member states towards compliance with the primary and secondary criteria and economic integration in the sub-region.

The meeting is organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana, in collaboration with the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI).

Vice President Bawumia noted that being mindful of the challenges preceding the formation of a monetary union and its sustenance, the Akufo-Addo-led government, upon assumption of office in 2017, had been implementing a number of initiatives to address the challenges and promote financial inclusion.

He mentioned some flagship programmes such as; the national biometric identity cards to provide unique identity for the citizenry, paperless port clearing system, digital property addressing system and mandatory tax identification numbers for the members of the labour force, as well as trade facilitation and easy way of doing business geared towards building a modern and formalised economy.

Those initiatives, Dr Bawumia said begun bearing fruits with the nation recording one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 8.1 per cent in 2017, with the current GDP estimate of six per cent for 2018.

He added that the country’s policy, inflationary and exchange rates had been trending downwards, with the cedi depreciating only by 8.4 per cent against the dollar during the second half of 2018 despite the shocks from external sources.

Consequently, government also passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act that would limit the fiscal deficit and Fiscal Council to offer professional advice to the government.

“Ghana has adopted the Statistical Methodological Framework and satisfactorily harmonised its statistical compilation and reporting format with ECOWAS regional standards and had begun implementing the Common External Tariffs,” Dr Bawumia emphasised.