The occasion held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Centre is attended by Ministers, Central Bank representatives, and financial stakeholders within the member states.
Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia, research director Ebrima N. Wadda said the meeting was taking place at a time global uncertainties continue to impact economies in the region. He added that economic activities at the global level are experiencing an unforeseen degree of slowdown in the face of increasing inflationary pressure, unprecedented in several decades.
Mr Wadda said the situation is worsened by the cost of living crisis, tightening financial conditions, supply chain disruption and the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The slowdown in economic growth is taking place within an atmosphere of rising inflationary pressures as global inflation rose to 8.8% in 2022 from 4.7% in 2021 but is expected to moderate to 6.5% and 4.1% in 2023 and 2024. Consequent to the rising price pressures, monetary policy is expected to remain largely tight so as to restore price stability. Fiscal policy is expected to be tightly aligned with the monetary policy so as to alleviate the cost of living pressures,” he stated.
Momodou Bamba Saho, Director General of WAMA, stated that compiling the macroeconomic criteria in the past three years has continued to be a challenge as member states are affected by the continuous multiple crises. He added that in the face of continuous global slowdown, the ECOWAS economy has shown some resilience.
“However, some of our currencies have depreciated significantly, government financings are under pressure, debt is rising and inflation has remained high and putting more of our people in poverty,” he said.
Director Saho further stated that policymakers have much work to do to strengthen their macroeconomic toolkits to better adjust fiscal and monetary policies to better respond to the challenges.
WAMA technical committee chairman Dr Hassan Mahmud Kudus said the committee was meeting to review the activities and operations of WAMA in 2022 under the ECOWAS monetary cooperation programme.
Dr Kudus added: “The committee will also pay attention to the agency’s assessment of member states performance and compliance with macroeconomic convergent criteria in half of 2022.”
Speakers at the meeting included Dr Pezer Kofi Dadzie, representative of the ECOWAS commissioner of Economic Affairs for Agriculture.