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Red Flag! CFA franc Replacement with Eco Faces Criticism

Five English speaking countries and one French speaking West African country have raised concern over the change in the name of the regional currency from CFA franc to the Eco.

The decision of the six countries, Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia and Gambia was announced at the end of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) extraordinary meeting on Thursday, January 16, 2019 Abuja, Nigeria.

In December, 2019, WAEMU and Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara and French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the CFA franc, which had been in place since 1945, would be renamed and subjected to reforms.

The replacement of the CFA franc by the Eco has however being dealt with opposition by six West African countries, describing the announcement by WAEMU and president Ouattara as “unilateral.”

ECOWAS headquarters in Nigeria.

A communiqué Convergence Council of the West Africa Monetary Zone noted, “WAMZ Convergence Council wishes to emphasise that this action is not in line with the decision of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for the adoption of the Eco as the name of the ECOWAS single currency.”

In June 2019, leaders of ECOWAS met to discuss the introduction of a common regional currency and an independent monetary union, which has been a long-standing ambition of the wider ECOWAS bloc.

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