Common currency in West Africa: The launch envisaged for 2027 after a one-year stop

The project for a common currency for the 15 countries of ECOWAS is back on track after being suspended due to the pandemic. On Saturday 19 June, during the summit of ECOWAS Heads of State, the president of the Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, presented a new roadmap. The Eco will be launched in 2027.
Since 2020, the process has been at a standstill. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the member countries of ECOWAS had suspended their monetary convergence pact. It will resume from 2022, announced Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, and this until 2027. By that date, the economies will be sufficiently close to each other to allow the adoption of the eco.
However, this timetable, the fourth already announced by ECOWAS, may seem very tight. According to Senegalese economist Moubarack Lô, it seems difficult to make a country like Nigeria, with its 10% inflation rate, converge with those of the WAEMU zone, the West African Economic and Monetary Union, the current franc zone, where inflation is below 2%. In addition, the divergent economic interests of oil-producing countries on the one hand and importing countries on the other must be reconciled. This, again, may take time. For Moubarack Lô, if the political leaders are in their role by presenting a roadmap, it will ultimately be the real economy that will decide the future of the common currency.
In the meantime, the countries of the current franc zone must complete their reforms undertaken in December 2019 with the signing of a new monetary treaty with Paris. The national parliaments of the eight countries will have to ratify the text and examine fundamental issues, such as the exchange rate of their common currency and the guarantee link proposed by Paris. A strong sovereignist current within the WAEMU is calling for full emancipation.