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 fulfillment 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.