- Title: French-backed African currency under scrutiny during Macron visit
- Date: 19th December 2019
- Summary: OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO (FILE - 2017) (AGENCY POOL) EXTERIOR OF UNIVERSITY (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON, SAYING: "The CFA Franc - France is not it's master she is it's guarantor. What does that mean? It means that first of all it is the choice of the member states of the CFA zone. No one is forcing any state to be a member. If tomorrow President Kabore decides to no longer be in the Franc zone, he won't be any more (applause)." STUDENTS CLAPPING PROTESTERS DEMONSTRATING AGAINST FRANCE AND THE FRANC CFA IN FRONT OF RIOT POLICE SIGN READING (French): 'French Imperialism! French Neo-Colonialism' PROTESTERS SHOUTING THROUGH MEGA PHONE AND SIGN READING (French): 'Down with the F.CFA' (SOUNDBITE) (French) UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WITH SIGNS READING 'No to CFA' and 'African Youth says No to neo colonialism' SAYING: "We have come in large numbers to show Macron and France that the Burkina they new in the 60s, in the 80s is no longer the same Burkina in 2014 and in 2017." PROTESTER BURNING A SHIRT WITH PHOTOGRAPH OF MACRON AND BURKINA FASO PRESIDENT ROCH KABORE PROTESTERS WITH A BANNER READING (French): 'The CFA franc is a instrument of monetary repression of Africa'
- Embargoed: 2nd January 2020 10:51
- Keywords: cfa currency france ivory coast macron
- Location: ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST AND OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO
- City: ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST AND OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO
- Country: Ivory Coast
- Topics: Currencies/Foreign Exchange Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA003BAN6ZIF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: French President Emmanuel Macron will hold talks with his Ivory Coast counterpart Alassane Ouatarra, on Saturday (December 22) in Abidjan where the future of the French-backed CFA franc currency will be under scrutiny.
Macron has previously said the currency was a matter for Africans and that he was open to changes.
The CFA franc is a currency used in 14 west and central African nations, which is tied to the euro at a fixed exchange rate - with the peg guaranteed by the French Treasury.
Because it is pegged to the euro, the currency does provide monetary stability. But opponents say it is a vestige of French colonialism and takes away control of monetary policy from African states.
Ouatarra, whose country is the biggest economy in Francophone West Africa, is a strong supporter of the currency. But pressure is growing from regional leaders and activists to change it.
Benin's President Patrice Talon is the most prominent West African leader to openly call for a CFA pull out.
Last July African leaders launched a continental free-trade zone to create a single economic bloc. They also spoke of the creation of the ECO, an African currency that would unite 15 countries in West Africa.
Two years ago, when Macron visited students in the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou, he told them the decision was a matter for Africans and that France would go along with whatever solution leaders put forward.
Protests are growing against the CFA which is considered a colonial-era currency, particularly amongst West Africa's youth.
The CFA franc is split into two separate currency zones: the West African Economic and Monetary Union made up of eight countries, and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, comprising six nations.
It was created in 1945 to help the economic integration of France amongst the colonies it administered. Critics say today the currency gives France and the European Union preferential access to African resources.
(Production: Media Coulibaly, Yvonne Bell)
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