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Monday, 3 July 2017
Obasanjo urges two-track approach for ECOWAS currency
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo making a point during his
session at the Afreximbank Annual General Meeting in Kigali.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) should adopt a
two-track approach to the introduction of a common currency, with
countries that are ready being allowed to go ahead with
implementation initially, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo
in Kigali on 29 June as a Special Guest at activities marking the
24th Annual General Meeting of the African Export-Import Bank
(Afreximbank), Chief Obasanjo said that such an approach, which would
have countries that were not yet ready take a slower track, would
allow for the speedy implementation of the common currency.
session, titled “Can Regional Economic Communities Work for Africa:
Lessons from a Founding Father of ECOWAS” and moderated by former
international newscaster Riz Khan, saw the former President
commending the important progress made by ECOWAS toward achieving the
objectives of its founders, including the implementation of the
protocol on free movement and active interventions to address
political issues in the region.
paid tribute to the significant efforts of former Nigerian Head of
State General Yakubu Gowon and former Presidents Gnassingbe Eyadema
of Togo and Houphouet Boigny of Cote d’Ivoire for their roles in
setting up the economic community.
to a question, Chief Obasanjo said that education offered the surest
pathway to addressing the challenge of poverty in West Africa.
According to him, there should be free and compulsory basic education
for all children in the countries.
free basic education should be complemented with a strong emphasis on
agribusiness, which should cover the entire value chain, in order to
foster employment and income generation for the populace, he added.
than 100 speakers, including ministers of trade, central bank
governors, academics, African and global trade development experts,
and business leaders, spoke during the four days of the Annual
General Meeting and related events, which focused on the theme
“unlocking Africa’s trade potential”.