News / Africa

CFA Zone Says No Plans to Revalue Currency

French Economy Minister Pierre Moscovici (L) speaks beside his Senegalese counterpart Amadou Kane, Apr. 8, 2013, during a press conference in Dakar, following a meeting of ministers of the member countries of the West African franc zone.
French Economy Minister Pierre Moscovici (L) speaks beside his Senegalese counterpart Amadou Kane, Apr. 8, 2013, during a press conference in Dakar, following a meeting of ministers of the member countries of the West African franc zone.
Jennifer Lazuta
Representatives of the West and Central African Franc Zone say the CFA franc, which is currently pegged to the euro, will not be revaluated any time soon.  This is despite concerns over mounting European financial troubles.  The finance ministers of the 15 member countries met this week to discuss the future of the Franc Zone and the CFA.

The Bank of France, along with economic experts and the finance ministers of the 15 African countries in the Franc Zone, believe the current model of the Franc Zone remains relevant.

The Franc Zone is a monetary union of 14 French-speaking sub-Saharan African countries, along with France and the Comoros, whose currency is currently linked to the euro at a fixed rate of exchange.

Senegal’s Minister of Economy and Finance Amadou Kane said that despite the recent financial crisis in Europe, the tie between the CFA and the euro remains strong.

"For nearly 15 years, the CFA has been backed by the euro with no problems.  It is a robust relationship," he said.  "Besides, its value is more than just the exchange rate.  We take into consideration monetary and financial policy."

The CFA was first anchored to the French franc back in 1945.  It was later pegged to the euro when the European Union switched currencies in 1999.  

Emmanuel Rocher, a representative of the Bank of France, says that pegging the CFA to the franc - and then the euro - has offered member countries an element of stability and security, particularly when it comes to foreign investment.

"Europe remains the largest commercial partner of the African Franc Zone," he said.  "More than 60 percent of trade flows take place between the Franc Zone and Europe.  I must add, that the member countries of the Franc Zone experienced economic growth that was six percent higher in 2012 compared to the previous year than other African countries that are not part of the zone."

The last time the CFA was revaluated was in January 1994, when member countries decided to devalue it by 50 percent.  The decision was made based on mounting concerns that the exchange rate favored the African urban elite.

Although the devaluation temporarily caused a surge in local prices, the International Monetary Fund says that the revaluation ultimately promoted exports, expanded the agricultural sector in many countries, and made the countries' local products more competitive in international markets.

Kane says member countries will consider revaluating it in the future, if necessary. 

The next meeting of the Franc Zone finance ministers will take place in October.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid