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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL Décembre - Africa: A colonial currency, the CFA franc (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date 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 Africans.

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 world rankings.

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 own economy.

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