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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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 Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid