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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL Décembre - Africa: A colonial currency, the CFA franc (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]
Sat, 30 Dec 2017 09:34:03 +0200
The CFA franc still lives and keeps sub-Saharan Africa under colonial control. This
survival of French imperialism keeps African states in a state of underdevelopment thanks
to the interference of monetary institutions and public men without morals that oppress
the African peoples. Who will be able to overthrow this ghost of colonialism? ---- The CFA
franc is the most obvious and aberrant symptom of French colonialism in sub-Saharan
Africa. That until today France alone has managed to keep the monetary control of its
former colonies is enough to explain the story of a failed decolonization, that of
Françafrique with its dictators, as indestrônables as the CFA, which are maintained thanks
to the former metropolis, with its concession companies, Rougier, Total, Bouygues, and
Bolloré, who take over for their benefit the management of essential areas of savings. The
neocolonial set is cemented by the CFA.
The racist arguments of the CFA franc
The arguments of CFA defenders are primarily racist. Indeed, to claim that without the CFA
Francophone African countries would sink into monetary chaos is to postulate that Africans
are unable to manage their currency, as they are unable to govern themselves, to build
themselves, to manage their economy. In a sense, it is true of the government class that
has been imposed on them since the 1960s. This class has been promoted for its
carelessness, its venality, its docility, its total inability to conceive and apply a
policy of independence and development. The price to pay was the elimination of those who
were conscious, upright, unruly and fully competent. These have been driven out,
persecuted, murdered. The list of violence against them is long and it is not closed.
The facts challenge the racist argument. The majority of African countries not only do not
pay the CFA, but they are much better off in all respects than those who are supposed to
benefit. If we take the example of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, two neighboring countries,
comparable in size, population and resources, we note that Ghana ranks 146th on the Human
Development Index and Côte d'Ivoire. 'Ivory 177 e. The GDP of these two countries is
respectively $ 4,293 per capita for Ghana and $ 3,719 for Côte d'Ivoire. Moreover, in the
CFA zone, Côte d'Ivoire is considered as a leading country, which gives an idea of the
delay of the whole area. The last four countries in the world ranking are four countries
in the CFA zone: Burkina-Faso, Chad, Niger, Central African Republic.
The first economist who thoroughly analyzed the functioning of this currency and its
deleterious effects is the Cameroonian Joseph Tchundjang Pouémi. His book Money, servitude
and freedom. The monetary repression of Africais exceptional in more ways than one.
Published in 1981, he remained unique, isolated, unknown for thirty years. Today that
works against the CFA flourish, it remains very little known, rarely cited by those he has
preceded in time and none of which has equaled. This masterful work, produced by a
visionary African intellectual, has been and is still under wraps. His author disappeared
promptly, found dead at his home in Douala on December 27, 1984 at the age of 47 years.
The authorities called suicide what is obviously a murder by poisoning. Chundjang had
jeopardized a system whose mystifying power could not withstand the slightest dispute.
An episode of Data Maw about the CFA franc.
The monetary system as a means of oppression
Beyond the extreme and particularly caricatural case of the CFA franc, expression of
French colonialism, Tchundjang analyzes the world monetary system as an instrument to
oppress the poor countries and means to keep them underdeveloped, contrary to the façade.
He calls the IMF " Instant Misery Fund "long before the international financial
institutions imposed their structural adjustment plans in the 1990s on states
over-indebted by the costly fantasies of their megalomaniac dictators implemented by
foreign companies charging for a price that was a multiple of the real cost: gigantic
Yamoussoukro cathedral in the Ivory Coast of Houphouët-Boigny, lavish coronation of
Bokassa in the Central African Republic, oversized airport in the Cameroon of Biya, etc.
The African peoples pay this, under the constraint of the World Bank, the deprivation of
hospitals, schools, housing, means of communication, worthy of the name. The facts, here
too, are more eloquent than any speech and largely confirm the theses of Tchundjang Pouémi.
France, patron of the CFA franc, is not left out. When the debt crisis occurred in 1990,
it unilaterally broke a fundamental commitment to the existence of this currency, fixed
parity with the French franc, and devalued 100% of the CFA the 1 st January 1994, doubling
the cost of access to imported products for the inhabitants of the CFA zone, while the
price of their productions, mainly agricultural, and their resources, wood, oil, precious
metals, is divided by two . The shock has a deadly effect on the economies concerned with
large sections of society falling into poverty and an explosion of corruption in the
public service that makes state services the main nuisance in people's lives. Alassane
Ouattara, then Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire, is the pillar on which France relies to
impose this ruinous devaluation to Houphouet-Boigny and the other heads of state of the
CFA zone, who, corrupt but not crazy, did not want it. The same Ouattara, became President
of Côte d'Ivoire thanks to the French army," Security " , probably by antiphrasis, for
Today, in French-speaking Africa, there is a wave of criticisms of the CFA bringing
together very diverse actors, politicians like Kako Nubukpo, former Minister of
Prospective of Togo, economists, academics, researchers, as Demba Moussa Dembélé at Senegal.
Kako Nubukpo, in conference.
Shake the straitjacket by popular protest
This current, which has taken hold of the somewhat French-Beninese demonogue known as the
Kemi Seba, has spread like wildfire in Africa and the African diaspora. The popular
protest rising is likely to finally shake the shackles that paralyze African countries
subject to this colonial currency. But to get rid of it, if it is a necessary condition,
will not be enough to free these countries from all subjection. There are reforms that may
change the form but not the substance of this situation.
We must listen to the lesson of Tchoungang Pouémi, whose vision goes well beyond the CFA.
He gives the example of South Korea which, in 1960, was after Côte d'Ivoire in terms of
development - today before France in terms of human development. This country, ruined,
devoid of resources, has put everything into the work and intelligence of its people. He
invested by focusing on domestic savings. He sacrificed everything to education, higher
education and research. These were the good ingredients of a tremendous catch-up in the
Africa by delivering its economy to foreign multinationals is in the opposite direction.
It requires a radical reversal. Who will know how to do it ?
Odile Tobner (Survival)
Monetary slavery of the CFA franc
The franc of the French colonies of Africa (CFA) was officially created under this name in
1945. In fact, this currency already existed before the Second World War. In 1960, France
imposed it, by means of monetary agreements leonines, with the new states coming from
French West Africa (AOF) which constitute the zone of the Economic union and monetary West
African (UEMOA), with its central bank of States of West Africa (BCEAO), which issue the
franc of the West African financial community and those of French Equatorial Africa (AEF),
which constitute the Economic and Monetary Union area of Central Africa (CEMAC) with its
Bank of Central African States (BEAC), which issues the Central African Financial
Cooperation Franc. The whole forms the franc zone.
The CFA franc has a fixed parity with the French franc. In 1960, a new French franc is
worth 50 CFA francs. The convertibility of each of the two CFA currencies with the French
franc is total, but they are not convertible between them. In return, African states must
deposit their foreign currency assets in a French Treasury operating account, which
distributes them according to their needs. This account can theoretically be creditor or
debtor. In fact this reserve can not be less than 50% of their assets. A representative of
the French State sits on the board of directors of each of the two issuing banks. It has a
right of veto since decisions must be taken unanimously.
In the early 1990s, the reserves tended to become negative. France decided to devalue 100%
of the CFA franc. A French franc is worth 100 CFA francs. Moreover, the total
convertibility disappears. Transactions must pass through bank accounts. The Banque de
France no longer changes CFA notes. When switching to the euro, France requires the CFA to
follow the franc. The value of the CFA now depends on that of the euro.This very binding
system between groups of countries, European and African, whose economies have nothing in
common, is a real monetary slavery for Africans, who can not have no initiative in their
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