8 Francophone West African countries rename common currency

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Eight Francophone West African countries, on Saturday agreed to change the name of their common currency, from Colonies Francaises du Africa (CFA) to Eco.

The countries, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo are former French colonies with the exception of Guinea-Bissau and currently use the CFA.

Vanguard reports that the announcement was made Saturday during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Cote d’Voire, world’s top cocoa producer and France’s former main colony in West Africa.

The country’s President Alassane Ouattara, speaking in the country’s economic capital Abidjan, also announced “three major changes”.

These included “a change of name” of the currency, he said, adding that the others would be “stopping holding 50 per cent of the reserves in the French Treasury” and the “withdrawal of French governance” in any aspect related to the currency.

Macron hailed it as a “historic reform”, adding: “The Eco will see the light of day in 2020.”

With reports by Vanguard

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