The Committee of Governors of the ECOWAS Central Banks has elected the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, J. Aloysius Tarlue, Jr. as its new Chairman. The decision was made during the Committee Governors meeting held virtually on 15th February 2021. The meeting of the Committee of Governors of ECOWAS Central Banks was held alongside the statutory meetings of West African Institute of Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) and the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ).
According to a press release from the Central Bank of Liberia dated February 17, 2021, CBL Executive Governor Tarlue in his acceptance speech lauded his past two predecessors, Prof. Kelfala M. Kallon of the Bank of Sierra Leone, and Dr. Ernest K. Y. Addison of the Bank of Ghana, respectively, for their splendid leadership; in particular Dr. Addison, for managing the revised Roadmap of the ECOWAS Single Currency Program and Prof. Kallon for proffering pragmatic recommendations on critical macroeconomic issues, especially during this time of COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Tarlue said his tenure as Chairman of the Committee of Governors will be based on consultation with his colleagues in implementing the ECOWAS Single Currency Program, something he said he had already started by engaging with and seeking guidance from his colleagues.
“As I steer the Chairmanship of this Committee for the next one year, I will be more consultative with colleague Governors in the implementation of key responsibilities earmarked under the ECOWAS Single Currency Program”, Executive Governor Tarlue said.
Executive Governor Tarlue urged his colleagues to remain focused on the policy reforms that the Member States of ECOWAS are implementing and expressed optimism that the adopted reforms will mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic and remain on course with the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme.
Mr. Jefferson S. N. Kambo, Director of Research, Policy & Planning was also elected Chairman of the Technical Committee (TC) of the West African Monetary Agency on 10th February 2020.
Meanwhile, the Single Currency Programme should have been launched in 2020, but due to COVID-19 and other structural constraints, this was not possible. As a result, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, at their 57th Ordinary Session agreed, inter alia, that the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) must develop a new Roadmap for the Single Currency Programme; the launch of the Single Currency Programme be postponed; Member States should be exempted from compliance with the convergence criteria in 2020; that WAMA develops a new macroeconomic convergence and stability pact; and; the launching of the ECO, the name of the single currency should be maintained with a gradual approach .
During the course of his Chairmanship, Governor Tarlue shall supervise the work of the West African Monetary Agency and work closely with the Ministers of Finance for ECOWAS countries through the Convergence Council to facilitate monetary and economic integration as well as promote policy harmonization for movement to single currency.
WAMA, located in Freetown, Sierra Leone, is responsible for the implementation of the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Programme aimed at promoting monetary and economic integration in ECOWAS.