FREETOWN/SL: The outgoing Chairman of the Committee of Central Bank Governors of the West African monetary Zone (WAMZ), Governor Sheku Sambadeen Sesay, of the Bank of Sierra Leone, has called on the Committee of Governors to heed warnings emerging from the Euro Zone crisis and take action to foster “policy harmonization and coordination as imperative for the success of any Monetary Union”.
Speaking at the 27th Meeting of the Committee of Governors of WAMZ Central Banks, held in Monrovia, Liberia on the 11th July, 2012, Governor Sambadeen Sesay appealed to WAMZ Members to implement policies “ that would not be detrimental to the region’s integration ideals”. He urged the Committee to take the opportunity that the meeting affords to review progress on the Convergence Scale and make bold and courageous recommendations to the Convergence Council.
During his six month tenure as Chair of the Committee of Governors of the WAMZ, Governor Sambadeen Sesay Superintended an ongoing restructuring of the West Africa Monetary Institute (WAMI), managed implementation of the WAMZ Payments System Development Project in four beneficiary member countries financed by the African Development Bank (ADB) and helped secured a $2 million grant from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) to strengthen the capacity of WAMI and member countries to undertake preparatory activities for Monetary Union.
Looking at the way forward, Governor Sesay drew attention to additional work required to achieve trade integration in the Zone which will enable maximization of gains from low transaction costs. He expressed delight at ongoing studies being carried out by WAMI on trade related issues including an assessment of the state of implementation of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS)
While affirming his commitment to the Single Currency project of the WAMZ and ECOWAS, Governor Sesay entreated the Committee to pay attention to a number of issues, not necessarily to achieve the ECOWAS target date of 2015 for Monetary Union in the region, but to address perennial social and economic problems in member countries. He called for action in building national and regional infrastructures, removing and/or relaxing barriers to regional trade and set in motion a process for the acceptability of national currencies, among others. This, he said, has becoming exceptionally urgent to encourage and consolidate the enduring integration of the peoples of the region hitherto unaffected by political or bureaucratic interventions
Governor Sambadeen Sesay hands over the Chair of the Committee of Governors of the WAMZ to the Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Dr. Jones Mills, commencing of a six month tenure.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.