Welcome to WAMI

Establishment and Mission

The West African Monetary Institute (WAMI/Institute) was set up in Accra, Ghana, in January 2001 and began operations in March 2001. The Institute is to undertake technical preparations for the establishment of a common West African Central Bank and the launching of a single currency for the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ/Zone). To minimize the effects of asymmetric shocks, a monetary union requires member countries to converge to certain quantitative and qualitative benchmarks. Thus, aside the monitoring of quantitative convergence criteria, the mandate of the Institute has been expanded over the years to include taking measures that will facilitate trade integration, financial sector integration, payments system development and statistical harmonization. In fulfilment of its mandate, therefore, the Institute currently conducts bi-annual onsite and monthly offsite multilateral surveillance missions to monitor Member States’ compliance with both the quantitative and qualitative benchmarks.

The West African Monetary Zone

The Heads of State of five countries in West Africa, as part of the fast-track approach to integration, decided in Accra, Ghana, April 20, 2000 to establish a second monetary zone to be known as the West African Monetary Zone. These countries, namely The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, signed the ‘Accra Declaration’ which defined the objectives of the Zone as well as, an action plan and institutional arrangements to ensure the speedy implementation of their decision. However, in February 2010, Liberia acceded to the WAMZ Agreement and became a member of the WAMZ. It is envisaged that this Zone will be merged with the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) to form a single monetary zone in West Africa.

At the second summit of Heads of State and Government of the Zone held in Bamako, Mali, in December 15, 2000 a number of important documents relating to the institutional, administrative and legal framework for establishing the Zone was adopted by five countries namely the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, as follows:
- the Agreement of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ);
- the Statute of the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI);
- the Statute of the West African Central Bank (WACB); and
- the Provisions on the Stabilization and Cooperation Fund (SCF);
Liberia, which was on observer status for about a decade, acceded fully to the WAMZ in February 2010.

The initial date for the launch of the single currency was January 1, 2003 but this was postponed to July 1, 2005 due to Member States’ inability to comply with all the four primary criteria simultaneously and on sustainable basis. The Zone witnessed two further postponements of the launch dates in 2005 and on December 1, 2009. The new date for the launch of the single currency is on or before January 1, 2015.


The institutions that have been established in accordance with the WAMZ Agreement include:
• The Authority of Heads of State and Government;
• The Convergence Council;
• The Technical Committee;
• The West African Monetary Institute;
• The West African Central Bank;
• The WAMZ Secretariat;
• The Stabilization and Cooperation Fund; and
• The West African Financial and Supervisory Authority.