Africa-Press – Gambia. President Adama Barrow has called for the implementation of policies to raise living standards on the African continent with the transformation of nations into higher-income countries.
He made this statement on Thursday at the 44th ordinary meeting of the assembly of governors organized by the Association of African Central Banks (AACB).
The theme for this meeting, “Digital Innovations and the Future of the Financial Sector: Opportunities and Challenges for Central Bank Digital Currencies,” is quite suitable, as African countries look forward to adopting a single currency and a common Central Bank in Africa.
“The objectives of the Association of African Central Bank Governors to promote cooperation on monetary, banking, and financial matters in Africa are commendable. They conform to the principles of the African Union Free Trade Area established to integrate African economies,” he noted.
“This development has the potential to scale up and speed up Africa’s economic development through financial inclusion, economies of scale, and lower transaction costs, among others. Such innovations are critical factors for fiscal policy development, as they create opportunities for Central Banks to consider the use of digital currencies. I understand, however, that these come with regulatory challenges.
“This notwithstanding, we are confident that this team of Central Bank Governors will diligently examine all relevant options and advise us accordingly,” he said.
He added: “Your deliberations cannot exclude the current global challenges that have adverse effects on African economies. We continue to experience decreasing supply of basic and essential commodities, amid the rising demand for them, resulting in higher market prices. These developments further constrain the tight fiscal space at hand.”
According to him, as the fiscal policy experts, to provide proactive measures in this regard, he implored the governors to support the fiscal and other sector colleagues in government to stem the effects of these shocks and build resilient African economies.
He noted that it is essential that the governors suggest practical ways to reinforce the resilience of the continent’s economies. “Noting that the world economies, particularly those in Africa, will continue to face shocks, we should prepare for such unexpected challenges and maintain resilient economies.
With resilient economies, we will be better positioned to implement policies that ensure job creation, women empowerment, and youth employment in Africa. To sum it up, we must implement policies that raise living standards on the continent and transform our nations into higher-income countries,” he said.
President Barrow stated that he equally acknowledges and applauded the significant progress and improvements made toward the monetary cooperation programme.
“Specifically, we appreciate the finalisation of the draft statutes and structure of the African Monetary Institute to direct the implementation of the programme. I seize this opportunity, therefore, to urge all countries to step up action on the agreed convergence criteria,” he urged.
The Gambian leader commended the Association for devising an integrated continental payment system, saying that they achieved it through the establishment of the African inter-regional payment integration task force, working groups, and expert panels tasked to guide the monitoring and implementation of the project.
He added that all of these were achieved in collaboration with the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afri Exim Bank) and he thanked the Bank most sincerely, in appreciation of their collaboration.