Keyword: CFA franc

'No change': critics say France maintains grip as Eco replaces CFA franc in West Africa

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French President Emmanuel Macron with his Ivorian counterpart Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, December 21st. © Reuters French President Emmanuel Macron with his Ivorian counterpart Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, December 21st. © Reuters

On a visit to Ivory Coast at the weekend, French President Emmanuel Macron and his Ivorian counterpart Alassane Ouattara announced that the CFA franc, the common currency shared by 14 African countries and created in 1945, is to be replaced by the “Eco”. It was presented as a “historic reform” that will see France disengaging its grip over monetary policy in its former African colonies. But some economists in the region argue that, on the contrary, the Eco is a disguised continuation of French dominance, while also representing a death blow to the common currency project of the ECOWAS group of West African states. Fanny Pigeaud reports.

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Macron signals rethink on French-backed Africa currency

Discussions are now to be held over future of the CFA franc in west and central Africa, which critics say is a colonial relic

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

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A Franc Zone banknote. A Franc Zone banknote.

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.

Why France still controls ex-African colonies' currency

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A Franc Zone banknote. A Franc Zone banknote.

France's African colonies were finally given independence around 70 years ago but one throwback to that era still remains – control by Paris of its former colonies' currency. The 'CFA franc', guaranteed by the French Treasury, is the legal tender in 14 west and central African nations. As Fanny Pigeaud reports in the first of two articles, many African economists are critical of the 'Franc Zone', which many feel holds back economic development.