The West African Monetary Union (WAMU) is distinguished by the recognition of a common monetary unit, the Franc of the African financial community, or CFA Franc, which is issued by the BCEAO.
WAMU currently comprises: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte-d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
The organs that ensure the running of WAMU are:
- The Conference of Heads of State and Government ;
- The Council of Ministers ;
- The Banking Commission ;
- The Regional Council for Public Savings and Financial Markets (CREPMF).
The Conference of Heads of State and Government constitutes the highest authority of the Union. It takes decisions on the admission of new members, as well as on all matters brought before it by the Council of Ministers.
The Council of Ministers is responsible for the steering of the Union. Each Member State is represented on the Council by two Ministers, but only holds one vote, which is cast by the Minister of Finance.
The Council of Ministers takes unanimous decisions on the matters placed under its jurisdiction by the WAMU Treaty and the Statutes of the BCEAO, as well as all matters which the Governments of the member States may agree to refer to it for review or decision. The Council’s decisions must be in compliance with the international commitments entered into by the member States of the Union.
The Council of Ministers defines the monetary and credit policy of the Union with a view to safeguarding the value of the common currency and providing financing for business and economic development in the States of the Union.
The powers of the Council of Ministers notably include clearing and payment agreements between the common issuing institution and foreign central banks with a view to facilitating payments abroad by the member States of the Union