Economics lecturer at the University Of Ghana Dr. Adu Owusu Sarkodie says Ghana being unsure about replacing its cedi with the Eco is fueled by fear.
He states that a lot of countries on the ECOWAS bloc do not have similar fundamentals hence the fear of one country dwindling the economic fortunes of another.
“Ghana fears that if it sticks its neck and adopt the usage, another country which may not have good economic fundamental may have an effect on Ghana’s economy. Currently, we have an inflation rate of 7.9 so it will not do the country good to adopt the eco with a country which may have an inflation of 40 etc,” he explained.
In late December 2019, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara announced that the West African CFA franc, used by the former French colonies of Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo, as well as by Guinea-Bissau, would be retired sometime in 2020 and replaced with a new currency called the Eco.
Speaking to GhanaWeb, Dr. Owusu Sarkodie said that, “the eco as a currency for the ECOWAS region is laudable. However, it must not be rushed by the body to get it being used when the region does not have a common economic fundamentals.”
The region, he added, must apply its selection criteria and make sure that countries with good economic fundamentals are grouped and can kick start the Eco usage as others are other later on reaching good fundamentals.
He therefore advised that, “we do not need all countries to start using the eco at ago. Even the euro did not start with all the member using the currency. It was a gradual adoption regime.”
The decision to call the CFA franc replacement currency the 'Eco' has caused a major rift in the region and underlines the struggle between Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire for regional influence.
Nigeria’s Finance Minster Zainab Ahmed in a statement said the eco announcement is "inconsistent with the decision of the Authority of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for the adoption of the Eco as the name of an independent ECOWAS single currency."
Reacting on whether or not the Eco could be implemented in 2020 as targeted by the ECOWAS, he said “it could surprise us all that the Eco may be launched in 2020. But I dread the repercussions of all members of the bloc rushing to use it regardless of the economic fundamentals.”