The West African Monetary Institute (WAMI), has strengthened its partnership with key external stakeholders including the African Development Bank (AfDB), International Monetary Fund, World Bank and African Export-Import Bank.The partnership also includes African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Dr Temitope Oshikoya, the Director General of WAMI and his team have also mobilised considerable resources for the Institute, while reducing the contributions of its member states from 95 per cent of the overall budget in 2008 to 15 per cent in 2011.
The grant resources mobilised included $30 million from the AfDB, two million dollars from the ACBF, $250,000 from the Nigerian Technical Cooperation Fund, and grants from various other sources.
These are some of the key achievements of WAMI in the past three and a half years.
WAMI has also prepared a strategic plan covering the period 2010-2014 with five pillars on macroeconomic convergence; financial stability and integration; trade and regional integration; payment system infrastructure development; and institutional and capacity building.
According to Mr Hussein Thomasi, the Director of Legal, the Institute came up with six statutes approved by the Convergence Council covering the West African Central Bank; West African Supervisory Authority; Single Economic Space and Prosperity Agreement; Banking Statute of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), Non-Bank Financial Institutions Statute and Payment Systems Statute. It also prepared the Fiscal Responsibility Statute.
WAMI has facilitated the enlargement of the membership of WAMZ with the admission of Liberia by the Authority of Heads of State in February 2009.
The body also convened one Heads of State Summit and seven Convergence Council meetings of WAMZ.
WAMI has been developing and implementing the Payments System Project in the four member states of the Zone: The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, which has now reached a critical stage with “the go-live” in The Gambia achieved in December 2011.
During the period under review WAMI has played a pivotal role in the establishment of the College of Supervisors of the West African Monetary Zone (CSWAMZ) to promote financial system stability by enhancing cooperation, information sharing and coordination amongst bank supervisors in the zone.
The CSWAMZ built on the Memorandum of Understanding, which WAMI prepared and signed by the Governors of the Central Banks.
The College of Supervisors, with WAMI as its Secretariat, issued its maiden Financial Stability Report.
WAMI has strengthened macroeconomic surveillance of member states, while conducting joint surveillance with the West African Monetary Agency and the ECOWAS.
The Institute has assisted The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to formulate their national trade policies and action programmes.
It instituted the Ministers of Trade Forum and convened four meetings of the Forum to enhance trade related issues and organised a trade and investment forum in London in May 2011, which brought together Ministers, Governors of Central bank, investment bankers, financiers, and other private sector stakeholders.
Recognising the need to support member countries in building capacity to implement the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), WAMI in collaboration with Euro-money organised a high level training on IFRS. The participants were sponsored by the Institute.
The Institute has put in place reforms to strengthen policies and procedures in accordance with standards in international organisations, Mr Adeniyi Karunwi, the Director of Finance and Administration said.
WAMI has undertaken several research studies on themes including fiscal sustainability, architecture for financial stability, price stability in a monetary union, and trading in financial services, and has strengthened the statistical base, dissemination and capacity of the Institute.
The staff of WAMI has published a book on Monetary and Financial Integration in West Africa.