Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo are the eight West African countries have agreed to change the name of their common currency to Eco and severed their earlier currency CFA Franc’s links to former colonial ruler France.
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Eight West African nations common currency: ‘CFA franc’ to ‘Eco’:
- The CFA Franc was initially pegged to the French franc and has been linked to the euro for about two decades.The CFA franc was seen by many as a sign of French interference in its former African colonies even after the countries became independent.
- Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo currently use the currency. All the countries are former French colonies with the exception of Guinea-Bissau.
- The common currency Eco will see the light of day in 2020.
- It is the name of two currencies- ‘the West African CFA franc’, which is used in 8 West African countries, and ‘Central African CFA franc’, which is used in 6 Central African countries. Both currencies are guaranteed by French treasury and was created in 1945.
- The Economic Community of West African States regional bloc, known as ECOWAS, earlier urged members to push on with efforts to establish a common currency.
- Eight of them currently use the CFA franc, moored to the single European currency and gathered in an organisation called the West African Monetary Union, or WAMU.
ECOWAS was set up in 1975 and comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo representing a total population of around 385 million.