West Africa launches new currency in break with France

New ‘eco’ currency pegged to euro, but France will have less involvement in West African Economic and Monetary Union

Alassane Ouattara
Alassane Ouattara: “Reform of the CFA franc takes into account our desire to build our future in a responsible manner” 
s t/Wikimedia

The central banks of West Africa have taken a major step towards breaking their monetary ties with Europe by launching their long-awaited “eco” currency and cutting some historic links with France.

On December 21, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) declared the bloc’s currency would be renamed from the CFA franc to the eco, to be overseen by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).

The central banks of the region will no longer be expected to hold reserves with the

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