Beninese President Patrice Talon announced Thursday night the “withdrawal of foreign exchange reserves of the CFA franc” that are in France and his wish to see the return of former President Boni Yayi, currently in exile. “We unanimously agree on this, to end this model,” said President Talon in an interview with RFI and France 24, saying that this model was foremost a “psychological problem” and not “technical”.
“The central bank of African countries of WAMU (West African Monetary Union) will manage all of these foreign currency reserves and distribute them to the various central banks partners in the world,” said the head of the Benin State, declaring that this would be done “very quickly”, but without giving a precise timetable.
In early October, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said France was open to an “ambitious reform” of the CFA franc. He said he was waiting for the 15 countries that share the euro currency “to decide what they want” at a time when West Africa is planning to create its own single currency.
“We are available and we are ready,” he said at the end of a meeting of finance ministers and governors of the franc zone countries.
Established in 1945, about fifteen years before the independence of the French colonies, the value of the CFA franc is now indexed to the euro (1 euro = 655.96 CFA francs) which keeps the African economies in dependence European monetary policy, a situation regularly labeled as “neo-colonialism”.