West African countries say 'au revoir' to French currency links

West African countries say 'au revoir' to French currency links

- The legacy of French colonialism is coming to an end as West African countries ditch the CFA franc

- The Eco will replace the CFA franc

- However, there are still stumbling blocs hampering countries from adopting the new currency

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Eight countries in West Africa who were former colonies of France had formerly cut ties with the European nation after renaming their common currency.

Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo changed the name of their currency to the Eco and cut ties with the CFA franc which was linked to the French franc and the Euro.

Briefly.co.za learned that out of 8 countries, Burkina Faso is the only nation that was not a former French colony. The announcement of the currency shift was made during the French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to the Ivory Coast.

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3 major changes have been made, the change of the currency name, 50% holding in the French treasury would end and the withdrawal of French governance in all aspects of the currency.

The CFA was linked to the Euro and the exchange rate was 655.96 CFA francs to the Euro. The French treasury used to hold 50% of the currency in reserve and paid 0.75% interest on the amount.

The CFA notes are printed by the Bank of France in Chamalieres and the currency was introduced in 1945 according to timeslive.co.za.

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The new currency called the Eco will be in place in 2020 but one of the 15 countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meet the criteria to join in the new currency.

Countries are required to have a deficit of less than 3% of GDP and inflation under 10 % and their debts cannot exceed 70% of GDP.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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