It’s been 20 years since the euro was introduced as the currency of choice across the European Union. It was designed to reduce friction in trade and allow for better cooperation in the eurozone, and was largely successful. Did it work all the time? Of course not.
It had its drawbacks, and the period of Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece’s financial crisis of 2009-10 was a very testing time for the currency and the region as a whole.
Why is a channel focused on highlighting African stories through an African lens worried about the euro’s 20th birthday?
Well, because there’s a region in Africa – ECOWAS – that’s been trying to launch its own shared currency for some time. Now, the Economic Community of West African States announced at the end of its summit in Abuja, Nigeria, that it would be adopting the ECO as its shared currency by 2020.