Next to Emmanuel Macron, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara announces the reform of the CFA franc.

France and eight West African countries have decided to reform the CFA franc in-depth, announced Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara

on Saturday, December 20 during a visit by the French president, Emmanuel Macron.

The CFA franc will disappear and give way to “Eco” in 2020 but will keep a fixed parity with the euro.

“We have decided to reform the CFA franc with three major changes (…) including the change of name” and “stopping the centralization of

50% of the reserves to the French Treasury,” said Alassane Ouattara during the press conference.

In addition, there will no longer be any French representatives sitting in the Office of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).

“The CFA franc has been an essential tool,” but “we must undertake even more ambitious reforms in order to consolidate our growth

momentum, preserve the purchasing power of our populations,” said the Ivorian president.

“The Eco will see the light of day in 2020, I congratulate myself,” said the French president about this reform which he describes as

“historic”. The CFA franc was “perceived as one of the vestiges of Françafrique “, he said.

This reform has been negotiated for six months, according to a French source, between France and the eight countries of the West African

Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA): Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

It does not currently concern the six Central African countries which use the CFA franc but which form a separate monetary zone.

Alassane Ouattara, Ivorian president to reform the CFA

Alassane Ouattara, Ivorian president to reform the CFA

Member countries to use the Eco

As part of its plans to make Africa a more integrated continent, leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

have adopted the name ‘ECO’ for a planned single currency to be used in the region.

Six member countries, including Nigeria, Liberia, and Ghana, could be swapping their currencies for a new one – the ECO.
Eight ECOWAS countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) currently jointly use the CFA
franc.
Originally intended to be launched in 2000, the ECO has been postponed multiple times, and the newest target date is 2020.
By Subiru Madina