The national representation of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) announced monday, a press briefing in Lome to situate national and international opinion on the issue.
But before, Professor Kako Nubukpo, emblematic figure of this struggle demonstrates in a forum, the reasons why Africans should end up with this currency.
First historical: direct link between slavery and the CFA Franc
CFA follows the contours of colonial and postcolonial slave violence. Very few people know that at the time of the abolition of slavery on April 27, 1848, it was necessary to compensate the slavers because there were debates around the black code whether slaves were personal properties or real properties.
So, from the moment they recognized that slaves were not human beings, they had to compensate slavers.
With this money, five years after, the slavers created the Bank of Senegal in 1853 then the Bank of West Africa in 1901 which is today, the ancestor of the Central Bank of the States of the West Africa (BCEAO) which issues the CFA.
Farmers forced to pay tax in CFA
In connection with colonization, African peasants had to pay the tax in CFA while there were African currencies. However, to be able to pay tax in CFA, it was necessary to abandon food cultures to indulge in cash crops.
And a crop like cotton is going to be called the "commander's culture" because the peasants did not want to make cotton.
Peasants were forced to make cotton because after the war of cessation in the United States, there were not enough slaves to work in the cotton fields in the southern United States.
That's why France decided to invest in Africa to make cotton in Africa. In conclusion, the CFA Franc is deeply linked to the history of colonization.
From colonization to independence!
In independence, the question that arose is: do we keep the CFA? Sekou Toure dared to say no to General De Gaulle in 1958 and he was punished. And we know today that Jacques Foccart has poured billions of fake Guinean notes to create hyperinflation in Guinea.
It has completely sunk the Guinean economy which has not yet recovered.
In Togo, Sylvanus Olimpio suffered on January 13, 1963, the first military coup in Africa after independence, a week after announcing the creation of the Togolese currency.
I could multiply examples but what is important to remember is that the history of the CFA franc is a painful story for Africans and just for that, they should all be interested.
Now Economic: The CFA is not a good thing for the states
Four reasons explain the economic dimension according to Prof Kako Nubukpo.
1st reason: blockade on the transformation of the economy
CFA didn’t make it possible to transform African economy. 60 years after independence, we are still what we call primary insertion in international trade.
We export the raw materials; we don't transform them on the spot. We import the finished product and all that costs us a lot because in the end, we have commercial deficits balances.
2nd reason: CFA, a currency too strong
CFA franc is a currency too strong for our economies because it is pegged to the Euro and you know that a strong currency acts as an export tax and a subsidy on imports.
As a result, our savings are not competitive. It's funny because when you compare with Asians, you see exactly the opposite. The Chinese do not have raw materials so they import our raw materials and export the finished products.
Africans who have the raw materials, export their raw materials and import the finished products. Check the mistake! You see that it lasts for 60 years in absolute silence!
3rd reason: Financing
Our savings are not funded. Why? Because we don’t produce big things, we open credit lines so that our entrepreneurs have access to financing.
There are a lot of imports, while you pay for your imports with foreign exchange reserves. At some point, you don’t have enough to guarantee the fixed parity between CFA Franc and Euro.
So, you have to devalue. But, devaluation is a drama for our leaders because it makes CFA stronger.
4th reason: the CFA has no consideration for African growth
CFA has no consideration for African growth, so no business creation, no job creation.
Our populations are doubling every 25 years; which means that if you don’t have any activity, it is not surprising that people decide to leave (migration of Africans to Europe).
It's terrible bad faith. It is a past that does not pass but a past that has become a present, a present that is problematic.
Finally, political: The parallelism of forms flouted
Central banks in Africa in the franc zone are now independent of the states. But, they are subservient to French treasury since they are required to deposit at least 50% of foreign exchange reserves with the French Treasury in Paris.
And so, 60 years after independence, instead of going to the European Central Bank that issues the Euro for direct negotiations, we go to a Ministry of Finance of a member country of the Euro zone (France).
That's why we talk of servitude in the case of the CFA. Also, our banknotes are made, printed in France exclusively. And so, you see we're talking about a currency that no longer exists in France.
The Franc no longer exists in France but exists in Africa. 60 years after independence, we have not yet found chemists capable of bank notes.
In conclusion, we need to set up the general states of the CFA franc so that we can end up very organized as soon as possible with this money that I call the currency of servitude.