By Seringe ST Touray
Last year, Hon. Buah Saidy, the Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia, was unanimously elected as the President of the Association of African Central Banks (AACB) – an organization that promotes enhanced financial cooperation and stability through the development of a unified central bank in Africa and a continent-wide single currency.
Today, Mr. Saidy takes a significant step forward in achieving this goal by historically securing endorsements from all forty-two (42) African Central Bank Governors, paving the way for the establishment of the African Monetary Institute (AMI). These endorsements were secured in August 2023, during the 45th meeting of the AACB in Zambia. The AMI is tasked with facilitating the groundwork for an African Central Bank, marking an important stride towards creating an Africa-wide single currency.
According to a press release by the Central Bank of The Gambia, the AMI has been “approved at both ministerial and presidential committee levels.” It also underlines that the AMI is “expected to be the body responsible for clearing the ground for the establishment of the African Central Bank. This would be an essential pillar in the pursuit of a single currency for Africa and a significant step towards continental economic integration.”
The statement further emphasizes that the establishment of the AMI has been in the works “for at least a decade, and in his one-year tenure as Chairman of the AACB, Hon. Governor Buah Saidy was able to secure this monumental achievement.”
The concept of a single currency for the entire African continent has long been a topic of discussion and speculation. The idea, akin to the Euro in Europe, envisions a unified monetary system that could potentially foster economic integration, enhance trade, and stimulate economic growth across the diverse nations of Africa. While the road to implementing such a currency is complex and riddled with challenges, the prospect of a united African currency is a tantalizing possibility that deserves careful examination.
The single currency idea traces its origins back to the formation of the African Union (AU) in 2001 and its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The AU’s Agenda 2063, a strategic framework for the socioeconomic transformation of the continent, has always envisioned the establishment of a single currency.