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32nd Meeting of the Convergence Council of WAMZ July 26, 2013

On behalf of the Convergence Council and myself, I will like to extend our sincere gratitude to the Government and People of the Republic of Ghana for hosting the meetings of the West African Monetary Zone(WAMZ).

It need not be over emphasized that over the years, we have expended so much resources and time into the WAMZ project. A lot has been achieved but a lot more still need to be done. If there is any message that needs to be re-echoed in this august meeting, it should be that we have an abiding faith in the WAMZ project.

Fellow Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen, in spite of the benefits of a single currency, the challenges of creating a monetary union are daunting.Let me therefore emphasize that in order for our monetary union to be successfully launched, it is of utmost importance that a high degree of
consistent macroeconomic convergence, complemented by financial sector integration, trade integration, as well as the modernization of payments system infrastructure be attained by member countries.

In the area of convergence, a key challenge facing the zone is the attainment of sustained compliance with the macroeconomic convergence criteria, specifically with respect to the inflation and fiscal deficit targets.Although performance has improved over the years, they both remain a challenge. This constitute a genuine cause for concern, especially, as observed in the Euro Zone, unsustainable fiscal position in one country may have negative repercussions on the other members of the union. This highlights the need for closer fiscal and monetary policy co-ordination towards the growth and stability objectives