chapter  8
16 Pages

Connections between commercial and central banking

In western Africa, there are many countries which were European colonies before the Second World War. After the war, many of these countries gained independence either peacefully or by revolution. As with any new country, there is a need for a new central bank. For the 15 countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) there are three currency unions. In what is now the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), the search for the correct form of central bank has been a tumultuous one, and one that has settled on the formation of a common currency that is now tied directly to the euro. These countries use the European Central Bank (ECB) as their monetary authority. Western African nations consist of many different types of economies, most of them simple and primary products based. The largest economy in this area, Nigeria, is not part of this currency union, remaining tied to the pound sterling. These nations lack a strong financial center and use larger economies as financial anchors.