The French government continue to control the economies of its former colonies. The former president of the Ivorian National Assembly, former Finance Minister and economist, Professor Mamadou Koulibaly, labeled the French-led CFA franc arrangement as ‘financially repressive, unfair and morally indefensible’, in an interview with the London-based New African Magazine.
Eight West African states form the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). UEMOA was created by a Treaty signed in Dakar on 10 January 1994, by the heads of state and governments of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. On 2 May 1997, Guinea-Bissau became the organisation’s eighth (and only non-Francophone) member state. This union set to use the same currency, CFA Franc that was pegged to the Euro.
In the same New African report mentioned above, Senegalese President Wade was clear and direct: ‘Central bank reserves of member states must be returned to member states in one way or another. I insist on this, and particularly because we have been raising this issue for a long time’. President Wade ‘deplored the fact that close to 1,500 billion CFA francs generated from the surplus of West African states’ foreign reserves are placed on the foreign stock markets and out of the reach of the Africans who own the money.’
The French Treasury is holding billions of dollars owned by the African states of the francophone nations of West and Central Africa in its own accounts and invested in the French Bourse or Stock Exchange. The Africans deposit the equivalent of 85% of their annual reserves in these accounts as a matter of post-colonial agreements and have never been given an accounting for how much the French are holding on their behalf, in what have these funds been invested, and what profit or loss there have been.
The French have been acquiring and holding the national reserves of 14 countries since 1961. Even allowing for losses and expenditures in keeping the CFA franc viable, the French are holding about at least 400 billion dollars of African money, wholly unaccountably to the money’s putative owners, the African states. Even Bernie Madoff couldn’t have constructed a Ponzi scheme that large without being exposed.
This ‘bargain’ was made between the African former colonies and the French as part of the Pacte Coloniale which accompanied their independence and controlled through a single currency, the CFA franc. This was largely the work Jacques Foccart, the chief adviser for the government of France on African policy as well as the co-founder of the Gaullist Service d’Action Civique (SAC) in 1959 with Charles Pasqua, which specialised in covert operations in Africa.
It was Foccart ‘the eminence grise’ who negotiated the Pacte Coloniale with the evolving French West African states who achieved their ‘flag independence’ in 1960. Not really having planned for it, de Gaulle had to improvise structures for a collection of small newly independent states, each with a flag, an anthem, and a seat at the UN, but often with precious little else. It was here that Foccart came to play an essential role, that of architect of the series of Cooperation accords with each new state in the sectors of finance and economy, culture, education, and the military.
It is crucial for the CFA franc to acquire its own existence, free of colonial stranglehold…After the break; the ex-CFA zone must construct its own system based on simple principles or free trade, and economic cooperation.
No country should be financially or economically enslaved by another country. And no country is so esteemed to colonize another.