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Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria… Is West Africa ready for life without the CFA Franc?

By Alain Faujas
Posted on Monday, 30 August 2021 18:12

The transition to eco will have an impact both on the major economic balances and on everyday transactions. PATRICK GELY/SIPA

Bankers, economists, fund managers... Financiers in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) zone are facing the metamorphosis of the CFA franc, with varying degrees of apprehension.

After a further postponement of the launch of the ECOWAS single currency, which was supposed to be launched in 2020, the 15 heads of state and government concerned have set a new date for the transition in 2027. Will it work this time? The question is legitimate, because the deadline for creating the eco is very tight.

The eight member states of WAEMU have been slow to ratify the abandonment of the CFA franc. Nigeria is sulking over this move by Francophone countries. There has been little improvement in convergence between the countries that are candidates for the monetary union. Will the eco rate be fixed or flexible? Will its central bank be truly independent?