Kufuor urges regional economic integration

Accra- Ghana (PANA) -- Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufuor said Monday that regional integration would help West Africa deal with globalisation.
Launching the National Sensitisation Programme for the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) in Accra, he said integration was about larger markets, increased trade, significant domestic and foreign direct investment, more jobs and a higher standard of living for the people.
The governments of six countries in West Africa - The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone agreed at a meeting in Accra in April 2000 to establish a Common Central Bank and a common currency.
Kufuor said: "We need to work together with our neighbours in West Africa to pool our resources .
to create a larger regional market for the benefit of all citizens.
" According to him, the most important and final stage in the integration process is the implementation of the common currency zone.
"A common currency in our sub-region will facilitate the calculation of money for traders, travellers and save all stakeholders from the current irritants that currently accompany all commercial dealings with our neighbours," he added.
The Ghanaian leader said his government was therefore pursuing prudent fiscal and monetary policies in order to achieve the convergence criteria necessary for the attainment of the objectives of monetary union, which called for discipline on the part of governments and citizens.
He appealed to members of the National Sensitisation Committee to mount a vigorous campaign not just about the benefits of the common currency but also the responsibilities for the realisation of the aspirations.
M O Ojo, Director General of the Accra-based West African Monetary Institute (WAMI), said the sensitisation programme would enhance the activities of the WAMZ in Ghana and facilitate the take-off of the envisaged monetary union.
He said the second monetary zone and the CFA Franc zone countries would form a single monetary zone of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) by 2004.

03 june 2002 20:15:00

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