On the eve of Christmas last year, the Côte d’Ivoire President, Alassane Ouattara, and the French president Emmanuel Macron announced the “end” of the FCFA and the introduction of a new currency, the ECO, to replace the treacherous FCFA currency. Many have applauded the announcement, but to me, it looks more like a coup perpetrated by France on African countries to colonize even the countries it never colonized, … simply by using currency.
The FCFA is a colonial tax imposed by France on its former colonies which amounts to at least 500 billion Euros every year in the coffers of France without having to raise a finger, as African countries which are part of this FCFA zone deposit 50-60 % (at one point it was 85 %) of their foreign reserves into France central bank.
A few things were already fishy with the Ouattara-Macron announcement:
1. Only FCFA countries in West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) will have their currency changed to the ECO, while the FCFA countries in Central Africa (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon) will continue to have the FCFA as a currency and to send out 60 % of their reserves to France. Why is it only West Africa moving on to the ECO? Isn’t the FCFA used by 15 countries in West Africa, Central Africa, and the Comoros? Why is the break only for West Africa then? Sounds like a divide-and-conquer tactic!
2. Also, France says the new currency’s value will be pegged to the Euro, similar to the way the FCFA‘s value was pegged to the French Franc, and now to the Euro. The ECO will remain fixed to the Euro, though the required deposits from these nations into French coffers are now eliminated (how true is this?) and France will no longer hold a seat on the UEMOA-linked West African central bank; it will instead send its puppets like Ouattara.
Why do I call this a coup? The ECO is the currency that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), 15 members of the West African union, had been working on for years, to be rolled on the entire territory of their union to facilitate exchanges between countries. Thus the name ECO stems from ECOWAS. The 15 member states of the ECOWAS are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Out of these 15 countries, 6 are not part of France’s pré-carré, and thus do not use the FCFA: Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Cape Verde, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. As you can see, Africa’s second biggest economy, Nigeria with its Naira is part of the ECOWAS, as well as Ghana with its Ghanaian cedi. This is also the reason why only the West African Franc zone countries will move to the ECO while the Central African Franc zone will not: because France is simply stealing the ECOWAS idea! Given the protests in recent years asking for France to step away from the FCFA and to leave African countries alone, France had no real choice but to act as if they had taken into considerations the requests. Now, France is trying to stage a coup on stable economies such as Nigeria and Ghana which have been fighting so hard to re-create President Kwame Nkrumah‘s dream of a common currency in the region and in Africa as a whole.
In essence, France is simply hijacking the idea of the ECO. More importantly and this is cause for serious action, France is trying to colonize some of Africa’s biggest economies simply by using the currency! This is extremely deceitful, and we pray that Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Cape Verde, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, will not fall for this. France is simply trying to harvest where it never sowed (as always), with the help of its puppet, Ouattara!
As a last note, it is about time that we, Africans, those who are still in the FCFA zone, those from whom France collects 500 billions Euros every year, it is high time to awaken, and to break the chains of slavery. Thomas Sankara said in his 1984 speech at the UN, “the slave who is not capable of assuming his rebellion does not deserve that we feel sorry for him. This slave will respond only to his misfortune if he is deluding himself about the suspect condescension of a master who claims to free him. Only struggle liberates …!” AFRICA MUST UNITE and FREE ITSELF!!!
To learn more, read my articles The 11 Components of the French Colonial Tax in Africa, FCFA: France’s Colonial Tax on Africa, Africa is funding Europe!, and also read this article on Africa Report.