Integration possible without single currency -- UEMOA chairman

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Moussa Toure, chairman of the West African Monetary Union (UEMOA) Commission, says a desired single currency would further boost economic integration within the sub-region.
"The common currency is like the icing on the cake, but before the icing, the cake must be well made and taste good," he told PANA Saturday in Dakar, Senegal.
Drawing a parallel with the European Union, Toure said EU countries embarked on the journey to integration as early as 1957.
"From six members, they increased to 15, and will soon be more than 20.
If there is such a strong attraction, it is because the thing is working," Toure said, adding: "it was not until 1999 that EU countries introduced a single currency, which will be implemented in the form of bank notes on 1 January 2002".
He said "even though a single currency is a very strong symbol of solidarity and unity, the problem is not just to have a single currency, but rather to have strong currencies, seriously and rigorously managed with fixed parity of fluctuations within a very narrow band.
" "In Africa, we often tend to reverse the order of things, by putting the end result first, and overlooking the reality, the concrete, practical and pragmatic aspect of things," Toure noted.
"While we do not have to have a single currency for the whole region, we do need to have a strong and well managed economy in non-UEMOA countries, which are also within the (15-nation) Economic Community of West African States," he added.
UEMOA groups eight ECOWAS countries of the CFA franc zone.
According to Toure, "if our economies are well managed, nothing will prevent the facilitation of trade between us and foreign partners.

17 december 2001 16:35:00

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