French President Emmanuel Macron, has endorsed the decision by the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) countries to use a common currency, the Eco,
At the 56th Ordinary session of ECOWAS held at the State House Conference Centre in Abuja, the heads of governments announced their readiness for implementation process.
Countries to use the Eco include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
At a bilateral meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Cote d’Ivoire, Alhassan Quattara, spoke on the progress of the ECOWAS mandate given to him to negotiate exit of Francophone West African countries from their currency union with France and European Union (EU).
The Ivorian leader said he had received the full support of the French government, under President Emmanuel Macron, and that the West African States were free to leave the union and join the ‘Eco’.
On Saturday, Quattara and visiting Macron, announced the reform of the long-disputed CFA franc on Saturday, a currency that is used in eight nations in the West Coast.
Macron said Eco replacing the CFA, which is seen as a symbol of French colonial rule, was good for the region.
The president, who began his three-day visit to the Ivory Coast with a visit French troops stationed in Côte d’Ivoire, said: “I wanted to engage France in a historic and ambitious reform of the cooperation between the West African economic and monetary union, and our country.
“With the reform of the CFA Franc, we are taking a big step to write a new page in our relationship with Africa.”
The eco will remain fixed to the Euro, while required deposits from African nations into French coffers are now eliminated.
With the development, France will no longer hold a seat on the Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA) linked West African central bank led by Quattara.