Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance Hon. Jacob Jusu Saffa has been unanimously re-elected to serve as Chairman of the Convergence Council of Finance Ministers and Governors of Central Banks of West Africa Monetary Zone (WAMZ) for the third time. This re-election occurred during the 45th meeting (Virtual) of the Convergence Council held on 16th February 2021 to deliberate on the status of the macroeconomic convergence and policy harmonization issues under the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme.
Delivering his opening statement, Minister Saffa thanked his colleague Ministers of Finance and Governors of Central Banks for the continued confidence bestowed on him and his country Sierra Leone.
The meetings of the Technical Committee and Committee of Central Bank Governors preceded this meeting with the Convergence Council adopting the report and recommendation of the Committee of Central Bank Governors.
The report states that growth, which was anchored on the agriculture, extractive, and service sectors, was severely impacted by the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on production, construction, international trade, hospitality, etc.
The convergence council also adopted the recommendations of the council of governors which includes, sustaining the effort at curbing the spread and containing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on real sector activities and fast-track the implementation of reforms to address structural challenges and invest in social infrastructure while providing adequate social safety nets to enhance response and resilience to shocks.
The Chairman of the convergence council Jacob Jusu Saffa after listening to the reports, recommendations, and comments from colleagues Ministers and Bank Governors called for a more radical approach in addressing the issue of trade between and among WAMZ member states. He continued that transportation is a key challenge in the region; therefore he calls for the development of a framework to improve transport connectivity and thus trade integration among WAMZ countries. J.J Saffa also calls for experience sharing platform for member states on the role of banks in development financing.
The Council agreed to the call of their chairman to work out the necessary arrangement to facilitate the development of the framework.