During the COVID-19 pandemic advanced economies have tapped their central banks for extensive liquidity support to their economies and to stave off an even deeper global economic crisis. African countries called for a $100 billion stimulus to respond to the pandemic but lacked the tools to finance such an injection of capital. Would strong regional central banks or even a continental central bank have helped? The regional experience of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) gives a glimpse of what is needed to accomplish monetary integration. But it also highlights the limits of such an approach, the difficulties the continent faces, and some fundamental issues that must be resolved to promote resilience in the region and foster alternative avenues to regional integration.