Can African states get rid of French 'colonial' currency?


Many experts in Africa want to see an end of the 'CFA franc', the currency backed by the French Treasury which was created 70 years ago and still used by 14 former colonies on the continent. But as Fanny Pigeaud reports in this second and concluding article on Africa's 'Franc Zone', the French authorities take a dim view of any criticism of the currency.

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The French authorities in Paris regularly insist they are open to reforms of the Franc Zone, which brings together the 14 African states and former colonies that share the CFA franc currency (see Mediapart's first article on the subject here) which was created 70 years ago. For example, the then-minister for the economy and finances Christine Lagarde said in May 2010: “It's not for France to determine if the current system is appropriate or not, if one should leave it or not. That era is over. It's for the states concerned to take responsibility.” The current minister of finances, Michel Sapin, took a similar line when he said in April 2016: “France's isn't there to decide in the place of the countries concerned. If some ideas, if some proposals are made by the political leaders of the countries concerned, France is obviously open to any change.”