THE FRANC CFA ENRICHED FRANCE…
By Aboudi Ottou, US Africa News. Updated 2015-05-06
This is how the book by Nicolas Agbohou titled The CFA Franc and the Euro against Africa could be renamed. The Ivorian teacher of economics in French universities is crisscrossing the continent to discuss this with Africans.
In his campaign against the CFA franc, Nicolas Agbohou, author of the book The CFA Franc and the Euro against Africa, published by Editions Solidarité Mondiale As in 2000, gave a series of lectures at Cameroonian universities in April, 2014, notably at the University of Yaoundé I and the University of Dschang. At these conferences the professor of economics and technology at the University of Versailles in St Quentin, France, discussed the franc zone operating system. He explained that it is based on four principles: centralization of foreign exchange reserves to the public French Treasury (transaction accounts), fixed parity between the CFA franc and the euro, the convertibility of the CFA franc to the euro, and the free movement of capital between France and the subject countries in the franc zone. Added to this is the participation of the French in the management boards of African Central Banks, where they enjoy the same veto power as Africans.
According to Agbohou, these four principles are an obstacle for the developing economic countries of the Franc zone (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, and Comoros); allowing France to enrich itself. For example, from 1945 to 1973, these countries contributed to the French treasuries to credit their operating accounts for all their foreign currencies—that is, all of their export earnings and their donations and loans. From 1973 to 2005, the exchange rate went from 100% to 65%, and in 2005 it was 50%. These foreign exchange reserves, asserts Agbohou, citing numerous French officials, is how France handles its budget deficit—to maintain its balance of payments and repay a portion of its debt. According to a senior official at the Cameroon Ministry of Finance, it is the same money that France uses to finance its war effort in Africa. This is why France is also quick to intervene militarily in French-speaking black Africa. In addition, due to the free transferability of franc zone capital to France, foreign investors active in the franc zone can repatriate all their profits to France, what the economics professor sees as a "legalization of capital flight."
The franc zone is an area of "monetary stability". It is the line of defense for the CFA franc. During his visit to Senegal on October 12, 2012, in celebration of 40 years of cooperative monetary agreements between France and its former colonies in Africa, Francois Hollande promoted this idea. "The existence of cooperative monetary agreements, and the commitments they imply on the part of African governments, allow for easy management of monetary discipline imposed by the monetary union and peer monitoring," he stated at a symposium on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), at the Foundation for Studies and Research on International Development (FERDI). This French think tank also argues, in a publication by Economia Editions titled "Regional Integration for Development in the Franc Zone," that by exploiting "opportunities" offered by the franc zone through monetary integration, African countries can gain 2-3 points of growth. For Agbohou teacher, "all this is hot air." For him, the salvation of Africa lies in the creation of a common African currency and localized processing of all raw materials into finished products.