News

African Economists Push to Sever Colonial-Era Monetary Ties with Europe

Some economists say ending the peg between CFA francs, shown here on a bus in Abidjan, and the euro would help West and Central African economies.
Some economists say ending the peg between CFA francs, shown here on a bus in Abidjan, and the euro would help West and Central African economies.
Nico Colombant

While weak European economies create concerns around the world, economists in Africa are pushing to sever ties binding the continent to former colonial powers. One idea is to decouple the CFA franc, the currency in 14 African countries, from the euro.  

One of the speakers at the Revival of Pan-Africanism Forum was economist Salomon Samen, who advises several African countries on economic policy.

Samen calls the post-World War II CFA franc, which is used in West and Central Africa, an umbilical cord that needs to be cut. A good start, he says, would be to loosen the fixed relationship between the euro and the CFA franc.

"The fixed parity between the CFA and the euro is no longer justified because trade between Africa and Europe has changed drastically over recent years with the greater role being played by Asian countries and China, and with a lot of trade being done with the United States as well. So it is not acceptable to have a simple fixed parity between the CFA franc and the euro. It has got to be overhauled," he said.

Another African economist, Ivory Coast national Nash Kpokou, wants CFA franc countries to have their own currencies, so that African economies can increase their competitiveness and not be so influenced by the uncertain standing of the euro.

"If we have our own currency, this will really help our economies to deal with most of the countries and they will be able to sell their goods to the rest of the world," he said.

Kpokou calls the current system "banking tourism" that has benefited France and French-backed leaders, not African populations, even when their countries post solid economic growth.

"When we talk about growth it should be inclusive.  They miss that it should take into consideration reducing poverty. So when growth is not taking into consideration the population, then there is no growth," he said.

Kpokou also notes that the current system requires participating countries to hold most of their foreign reserves in accounts held at the French Treasury. Other participants at the forum said that instead of relying on this system to reassure investors who are wary of doing business in a highly-indebted region, African states need to improve their business and investment environments, and increase intercontinental trade.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ENEFAAAHAA ENEFAAAHAA
May 01, 2012 7:29 AM
Africa wake up from the slavery stupo and be yourselves. dump the dependency and thrive for yourselves within you. you have all that makes the entire universe rich but is used to impoverish you. the rulers whom killed your forebears cannot or want to keep you living and or give you the good life in practice.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs