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Ecowas Replace CFA Franc With ECO, Cuts Financial Ties With France



About a month ago, reported that for the first time, a Head of State from Africa’s CFA currency region has openly spoken about the politically and economically sensitive subject related to the CFA franc that could ruin relationship with colonial master France.

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This was in the person of Benin’s President, Patrice Talon who ordered that his country’s foreign currency reserves colonially deposited in French Central Bank be immediately withdrawn.

And as the saying goes, coming events cast their shadows. Today, the CFA franc will now be renamed the Eco, which is the new currency to be used by member states of ECOWAS.

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Under the new deal struck between ECOWAS and France, this will also involve cutting off some of the financial links between Francophone West African countries and France.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has a combined population of 385 million and was set up in 1975.

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It comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

Eight of these countries use one currency, the CFA franc. Those are Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

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As a result of the policy to adopt the Eco, West Africa’s monetary union agreed with France under a deal to ensure that the Eco will remain pegged to the Euro.

The eight African countries for years have had their reserves kept in the French Treasury but they will no longer have to keep 50% of their reserves in the French Treasury.

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There will no longer also be a French representative on the currency union’s board.

For decades Francophone nations in West Africa have had the management of their currency done in France.

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Their financial reserves have always been planned and controlled from France despite gaining independence many years ago.