A two- day regional course on Financial and Economic Issues by West Africa Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) in-collaboration with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) has ended in Accra.
The programme which was on economic issues and regional integration drew financial experts from central banks of over ten West African countries.
In a speech read on behalf of the Governor for Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Kwamina Yedu Addison, he called on Africa leaders to embrace the integration process, which scales up opportunities for economic development to remain relevant in the global environment.
The BoG boss maintained that, the world was now a ‘global village’ which indirectly means that member states are all interconnected, be it through trade, finance, economic and/or social issues.
He was of the view that in laying the foundation towards regional integration, one must acknowledge the important role ndividual countries play in policy coordination, trade liberalization, as well as the expansion and interconnection of physical infrastructure.
Dr Addison noted that major challenge associated with economic integration was the relinquishment of some nationalistic controls often exercised by a sovereign economy.
He added that the rewards of economic integration which include gains from both internal and external economies of scale, as well as increased competition and growth, outweigh the loss of sovereignty.
The BoG governor also bemoaned the sub-region’s inability to achieve the use of common currency.
“Fortunately, West Africa sub-region has been grappling with challenges of Economic and Monetary integration for decades now”, he stated.
Dr Addison pointed out that there have been several challenges, ranging from the lack of political commitment to more substantial issues of meeting the convergence criteria and harmonisation of policies and regulatory framework which all are fundamental to successful integration.
By Franklin Asare-Donkoh