During a visit to Ivory Coast, French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday announced at a joint news conference with the Ivorian President that France is working towards revamping the CFA franc.
CFA Franc, known as “Colonies Francaises d’Afrique,” was established in 1945.
The currency was initially pegged to the French franc, but has been linked to the euro since 1999.
CFA Franc is used by eight states in West and Central Africa, that is Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.
The revamped currency will be renamed the “ECO” in 2020.
During the news conference, Macron, described colonialism as a “grave mistake and a fault of the republic”.
On his official Twitter, he added that the move to drop the CFA franc is part of France’s plan to rebuild relations with its former African colonies.
I wanted to engage France in a historic and ambitious reform of cooperation between the West African economic and monetary union and our country. We do it for African youth. Let us have the courage to move forward, to build an uninhibited partnership with our partners. With the reform of the CFA Franc, we are taking a big step to write a new page in our relationship with Africa.
Ayons le courage d’avancer, de bâtir un partenariat décomplexé avec nos partenaires. Avec la réforme du Franc CFA, nous faisons un grand pas pour écrire une page nouvelle de notre relation avec l’Afrique.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) December 21, 2019
President Alassane Ouattara described the adoption of the ECO as a step in building a future free from colonial influence.
The reform of the CFA takes into account our desire to build our future in a responsible manner, in order to attract private investment, create jobs and pursue the economic development of our countries.
La réforme du F CFA prend en compte notre volonté de construire notre futur de manière responsable, afin d’attirer les investissements privés, de créer des emplois et de poursuivre le développement économique de nos pays.
— Alassane Ouattara (@AOuattara_PRCI) December 22, 2019