Official website of the ECOWAS Parliament

West Africa in the face of challenges of Cryptocurrency

The Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold its delocalized meeting under the theme: “Cryptocurrency as a facilitator of Community trade in West Africa”, from July 6 to 10, 2021 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Members of Parliament of the joint committee on Administration, Finance and Budget | Macroeconomic policy and Economic research | Public accounts | Trade, Customs and free movement will lead participation at the delocalized meeting.

The main objective of the meeting in Ougadougou, is to provide the ECOWAS Members of Parliament with an understanding of cryptocurrency and its use in the process of facilitating regional integration. The meeting also provides an opportunity for the regional parliamentarians to determine the need and nature of regulation to guard against the misuse of cryptocurrency in the region. A cryptocurrency is a decentralized digital currency that uses cryptographic algorithms and a protocol called “blockchain” to ensure the reliability and traceability of transactions. The adoption of cryptocurrency is affecting the whole world and is finding more and more users in developing countries and regions.

States are only just beginning to realize the need to protect citizens against misuse and to regulate its use. Therefore, the ECOWAS Parliament, aware of the need to educate citizens on the implications of cryptocurrency, decided to organize this meeting. During the discussions, high-level experts will expand issues around this virtual currency and provide participants with the knowledge necessary to better understand its use.

The ECOWAS Parliament is made up of 115 seats. For the allocation of seats, each member state is guaranteed a minimum of five seats. The remaining forty seats were distributed in proportion to the population of each country. Based on this distribution, Nigeria has 35 seats, Ghana 8, Ivory Coast 7, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Senegal have 6 seats each. The other countries namely Benin, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Togo have 5 seats each.

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