Liberia Gets WAMZ’s Chairmanship
Liberia has been elected to chair the Committee Governors of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), by Governors of the sub-region.
The Governor of the Central Government of Liberia, Dr. J. Mills Jones was on Wednesday July 11, 2012 elected by his colleagues at the 27th Meetings of the Committee, which is a part of the Meetings of the Zone in Monrovia.
The Meetings will end Friday, with the WAMZ delegates expected to make decision on the creation of single currency for the entire sub-region and the removal of trade barriers for integration among member states. This plan is to be attained by 2015.
Governor Dr. Jones will steer the affairs of the Zone for the next six months.
Liberia officially joined WAMZ in February 2010 and still has the challenge of dual currency. Last Month, Governor Dr. Jones was summoned by the Legislature to explain the cause of the country’s rising inflation, which has since been stabilized to a single digit of 7.1 percent.
But with all of those challenges, Governor Dr. Jones does not see Liberia unfit to deliver on the aims and objectives of the sub-regional body—to destroy trade barriers, to create a single currency, just to name a few. He does not see the Chairmanship as a herculean task, rather a normal one for which Liberia is well prepared and ready to record an exemplary leadership.
Addressing fellow Governors at the Monrovia City Hall, where the Meetings were held, Governor Dr. Jones said it was expedient that WAMZ learned the lessons from the crisis within the Euro Zone as it looks forward for a single currency and regional integration.
Governor Dr. Jones said it was important that WAMZ pays a lot of attention to those things that will make the Zone succeed in its endeavors. Governor Dr. Jones: “As such, attention must be given to fiscal discipline, appropriate debt management and other structural reforms that will ensure the competitiveness of individual countries within the Zone”.
He renewed Liberia’s commitment to fulfilling its obligations to the Zone, and recounted the history of the country in the payment of fees to WAMZ’s affiliate institutions—WAMI, WAMA and WAIFEM.
Importantly, he assured the WAMZ Governors and delegates that Liberia will continue in the path of economic policies geared toward meeting the convergence criteria.
In terms of structural benchmarks, Governor Dr. Jones said Liberia was progressively implementing the recommendations regarding the policy harmonization issues. Up to date, according to him, the country has ratified 25 of the 53 protocols; while others are being earmarked. He made specific mention of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS). He said the establishment of a T-bill market was being envisaged for the second half of 2012.
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