West African Monetary Institute (WAMI)
The West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) is saddled with the responsibility of facilitating the realization of the single monetary union of the WAMZ. The institute is located in Ghana.
Desirous of achieving the goals of the ECOWAS integration programmes, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS decided in Lomé, Togo in December 1999 to launch the Fast-Track approach to economic and monetary integration in West Africa by allowing any two or more countries in the sub-region to implement on a fast lane any aspects of the ECOWAS integration programmes. The second monetary zone project was a direct result of the Fast-Tack initiative and it was expected to propel the seven countries outside the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) to be on the same level with the countries of the WAEMU. It was envisaged that with these countries adopting the second currency in the sub-region, the two monetary zones would eventually merge into a single ECOWAS monetary zone.
The second monetary zone project, subsequently designated the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) Programme was engaged in the creation of the necessary conditions for the operation of a monetary union and provide an effective architecture for the smooth running of the proposed monetary union. Five countries (The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) signed the Agreement to become members of the WAMZ, while Liberia and Cape Verde decided to be observers. In December 2000 in Bamako, Mali, the institutional and legal framework of the WAMZ Programme was adopted, while the critical targets were the establishment of a common central bank, the West African Central Bank (WACB) and the introduction of a common currency in January 2003.
The West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) was established in Accra, Ghana in January 2001 to make the necessary technical preparations for the take-off of the WACB and the introduction of the common currency. WAMI, in collaboration with the WAMZ Technical Committee, Committee of Governors of Central Banks and Convergence Council of Ministers and Governors of Central Banks, assesses the performance of member countries semi-annually. The change-over from national currencies to a single currency, with a common central bank and common monetary and foreign exchange policies, will mark the completion of the process of Monetary Union in the WAMZ. WAMI proffers policy recommendations to member countries so as to achieve and sustain macroeconomic convergence as well as the building of the agreed architecture for the union. WAMI also undertake empirical research and analysis intended to influence policy in favour of the attainment of the objectives of the WAMZ economies. The Institute is also harmonizing statistics in the zone and building a statistical architecture that will support common monetary policy operations of the WACB in the conduct of single monetary policy of the future common Central Bank.
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