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Francophone Africa Ditches the CFAV franc

The much-awaited law ratifying the end of the CFA franc has been adopted by the French Council of Ministers. The text validates the transition of the CFA franc – used by 8 French West African countries – to become the new “Eco”, a currency to be adopted by the entire West African bloc, ECOWAS. It also marks the end of the centralization of foreign exchange reserves of the 8 West African states with the French Treasury. In concrete terms, the Central Bank of West African States will no longer have to deposit half of its foreign exchange reserves at the Bank of France. France will also have to withdraw its presence from the governance bodies. The fixed parity of the future Eco currency with the euro will be maintained. The 8 countries concerned are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Critics of the CFA franc perceived it as one of the last vestiges of France’s colonial domination. The Central African version of the currency, XAF, however; continues to be used in 6 countries across the region.

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Alastair Tempest

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