The issue of the Eco- currency has been an idea initiated within the Anglophone counterpart of the West Africa region, which took an estimated period of 3-5 years in agitation to consider in both economic and political opportunities worth committing to such a course. However it became a serious agenda to promote in the early 2000s, when there was a lot of trade deficit challenges among member countries, as well as Central Bank Reserve issues and the fragility nature of the local economy causing a very weak currency behaviour against their major trading blocs within the Fx-market, as a result affecting real economic performance, governance struggle to address meaningful economic welfare of citizens with the GDP quote becoming just a hypothetical figures lacking any serious meaning to such fragile economies. There was the need for a serious resolution between the political fashion of member state and their economic management team to avoid the traditional chorus of vulnerability to external shocks leading to lack of fairness in trade deals from the West African market to their major trading blocs.
This prompted a series of abstract arguments I have made on the feasibility study adoption of ‘Eco’-currency on my Facebook wall and interrogation into the weak political approach in addressing such a complex economic case study in late 2018 and 2019 thereabout. The sad moment was the poor methodical approach in a political character for a neighboring African country, Ivory Coast to hijack the expected operational performance on a hopeful to be launched ECOWAS currency with a support of a media campaign which lacks theoretically guided implementation plan as stated two months ago on my Facebook page.
On records, it will be documented that it has taken over 20 years since the appending of member countries signatures to commit to a common monetary zone but the idea has been in existence not less than 25yrs. But the question is why has such an idea as a potential economic tool for ECOWAS progression struggling to be realized. It is very pathetic that ideological intellectuals, political historians and some immature economists among us resorting to idiosyncrasies on the table of blame games and imperialist dogmatic.
There has been one major challenge to move forward in this course as the issuance of the Eco-currency for member countries after the consensus was met from 2000 up to date as a relevant decision. And that is the fear among Member State on the questionable faith in how strong is the economic foundation of the Eco-currency to weather through storms without losing it ‘value’ faster comparable to individual Member State currency, which they have to sacrifice along with it associated benefit to joining a common currency agenda. As a result, some level of lay down regulations and procedures were outlined to assure themselves as Member State will conform to ensure a strong and sustainable valued currency on long term trajectory to the benefit of the zone but up to date the discipline to fulfill the target in the last 10 years up to current state has gotten only 1/3 of its members very close to the target of meeting such goals. Hence such gesture alone has continued to weaken confidence and trust among member countries.
However, as a young scholar, my question has been, is the existing procedure layout by the West Africa Monetary Institute, the only pathway to measure the confidence level of the performance of the Eco-currency? My answer is ‘No’, there is alternative but because there is no theoretical compass to that path to instruct policy direction, such has been the cause of heightening fear among Member State for its economic management team to enforce the agenda. I am submitting a new defense theoretically and empirically justified before October 2020 to International Federation of Technical Analysts, USA under the title “Technical Analysis Projection of Eco-currency and Performance at the Fx-Market” as Vol.1 of my work and submit the Vol.2 of the Fundamental Analysis to West Africa Monetary Institute, for a review towards decision marking because the fundamental fear of the issuance of the Eco-currency is built on expenditure patterns of member State instead of Trade warfare and structural planning, which is a wrong economic thinking. Because currency birth historically has been built on trade strategies with expenditure as auxiliary and complementary plan. And very happy the theoretical work of my mentor Y. Shiozawa, an Emeritus Professor, Osaka City University, Japan and his brother T. Fujimoto Professor at the University of Tokyo, Japan titled, ‘The nature of International Competition among firms’ was launched at the right time and copied to augment my thinking process through West Africa stylish economy. Most grateful.
I do believe that if Eco-Currency fails to be launched in 2020, then by 2021, there will be a high possibility for it to be an operationalized currency within the Zone.
Emmanuel TWENEBOAH SENZU is an Associate Professor of Economics & Investment Banking. I do make this case as a proud technical fellow to Sierra Leone Central Bank in the West Africa Region. Tsenzu@fbiresearchedu.org