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ECOWAS Projects 7.1 % Growth For West Africa In 2014

Kayode Adelowokan, Lagos

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is projecting 7.1 percent economic growth rate for the region in 2014.

The figure is higher than the 6.3 percent growth rate in 2013 and 6.6 percent in 2012, said a statement from ECOWAS Communications Assistant Director, Sunny Ugoh.

eccowas2Sierra Leone is anticipated to record the highest growth rate at 14.6 percent and Cape Verde at 0.5 percent.

“Six member states — Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone are predicted to post higher growth rates than the projected 6.3 percent growth rate for ECOWAS,” the statement said.

“Sources of growth would come from increased gas production, oil and various minerals as well as improvement in agricultural production.”

The regional bloc said that member states found it difficult to meet the criteria in terms of macro-economic convergence as enshrined in the ECOWAS Macroeconomic Stability and Convergence Pact.

The statement stressed the need to increase the rate of tax revenue-GDP ratio and control current expenditure in order to help reduce the budget deficit.

Presidents Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger and John Dramani Mahama of Ghana have been appointed to monitor the ECOWAS single currency programme.

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