The spirit of reclaiming lost glory and cutting colonial ties, is blowing strong. Therefore, several western African countries have renamed the CFA Franc Legal Tender. The African countries are; Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo Republic, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. And all former French colonies with the exception of Equatorial Guinea.
Additionally, The African countries in the bloc won’t have to keep 50% of their reserves in the French Treasury. And there will no longer be a French representative on the currency union’s board.
As such, the CFA Franc has been renamed Eco. However, the currency is still pegged to Euro but financial links have been cut with France.
According to Reuters, The CFA is used in 14 African countries. Including a combined population of about 150 million and $235 billion of gross domestic product.
However, the changes will only affect the West African form of the currency used by Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. And all former French colonies except Guinea Bissau.
The six countries using the Central African CFA are Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo Republic, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. And all former French colonies with the exception of Equatorial Guinea.
The CFA’s value relative to the French franc remained unchanged. Since 1948 through to 1994 when it was devalued by 50% to boost exports from the region.
The CFA which means “Colonies Francaises d’Afrique” (French Colonies in Africa). Now stands for “Communaute Financiere Africaine” (African Financial Community) in West Africa. And in Central Africa it means “Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale” (Financial Cooperation in Central Africa).
The CFA franc has been seen as colonial relic.
Ivory Coast President, Alassane Ouattara said
“This is a historic day for West Africa”. During the news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in the country’s main city Abidjan.