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  • Obasanjo calls for common currency to boost ECOWAS trade
  • Kigali – Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on
    Thursday called on the leaders of the Economic
    Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to
    agree on common currency to boost the
    regional trade.
    Obasanjo made call at the ongoing 24th Annual
    General Meeting of the African Export-Import
    Bank (Afreximbank) in Kigali.
    He spoke on: Can Regional Economic
    Communities Work for Africa: Lessons from a
    Founding Father.
    He said that the issue of common currency was
    getting delayed because the regional leaders had
    put forward “ECO” as a name for the currency
    but wondered why it had not been adopted.
    According to him, the currency is required to
    move the current level of the regional trade from
    25 per cent to more than 50 per cent.
    He said the various currency zones like the
    Naira zone, the Cedi zone, among others should
    not be allowed to mitigate the flow of trade
    within the region.
    He blamed too many internal conflicts and
    changes in policies, among others, as some of
    the challenges facing the region.
    Obasanjo, however, lauded ECOWAS countries
    for their ability to resolve their issues on their
    own, adding that ECOWAS on its own had
    resolved conflicts in Liberia, Sierria Loene and
    The Gambia.
    He said that in the case of The Gambia, ECOWAS
    leaders agreed that a military option should be
    adopted but it should be without firing a bullet.
    “I was sure the ousted president Yahya Jammeh
    will leave but when he started delaying ECOWAS
    leaders met, it was agreed a military option
    should be adopted.
    “The tactics worked and when the countries
    leaders were saying the ousted president Yahya
    Jammeh had left the country with huge sums of
    money. I told them to allow him go with the
    money so far he allows the country to remain in
    peace,” he said.
    He said the region had been most democratic
    region going by free and fair elections done in
    the countries.
    He told the audience that in the region, elections
    had been held without violence and wherever
    there were crisis the region had resolved such
    crisis peacefully.

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