Eight West African states make a historic reform as countries have agreed to name Eco as its common currency and cut the CFA franc’ link.
The CFA franc was initially pegged to the French franc and has been linked to the euro for about two decades.
“This is a historic day for West Africa,” Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara said in a statement during a joint news conference with French
President Emmanuel Macron in Ivory Coast’s economic city Abidjan.
The new currency agreement sees the Eco being pegged to the euro.
Also, the requirement for countries to keep 50% of reserves in the French Treasury and the need for a French representative on the currency union’s board has been scrapped.
Macron hailed it as a “historic reform,” adding: “The Eco will see the light of day in 2020.”
The adoption of a single currency market currency has been long-debated with critics pointing to its links to “Francafrique”, the loose web of influence Paris retains in its former colonies.
Currently, 14 African countries with a combined 150 million people and $235 billion of gross domestic product spend CFA.
The changes will only affect the West African countries with CFA as their currency, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.