Equatorial Guinea’s leader said the union of Central African states should consider changes to its French-backed currency after eight West African states last week agreed to reforms to their long-standing agreement with France.
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, speaking at a joint press conference with Ivorian leader Alassane Ouattara, said that the current agreement between the Central Economic and Monetary Union and France on the CFA franc had become “obsolete.”
Teodoro Obiang Nguema MbasogoPhotographer: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images
“Today we’re capable of managing our own currency without the interference of France,” Obiang told reporters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, on Saturday.
The West African Economic and Monetary Union last week agreed with France to keep the currency’s euro-peg while moving its currency reserve from France, the former colonial power. France will no longer have a representative on the union’s board and the CFA franc will be renamed the “eco.”
“Now that we know West Africa’s decision, maybe we will move to do the same with our French partner,” Obiang said.
The CFA franc is used in two monetary unions: eight West African states and six countries in Central Africa. The member states of the Economic Community of West African States, with countries from both monetary unions, said earlier this year that they would gradually start adopting a single currency in 2020.