The West African Bloc (ECOWAS) has suspended a plan to adopt a common currency until 2027.

The bloc originally intended for the “Eco” to launch in 2020, but according to ECOWAS president, Dr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, the group delayed things because of the coronavirus pandemic and its aftershocks.

“We have a new road map and the new convergence path that will cover the period of 2022 to 2026, “Brou said in a statement. “2027, that will be the launching of the Eco.”

ECOWAS has been pursuing a common currency project for more than two decades to help remove trade barriers, ease the cost of doing business, and boost economic growth in a region of more than 380 million people.

Within the bloc, eight countries that already share the CFA franc have started reforms of their own ahead of the wider currency project.

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