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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid