IMF Lauds Introduction Of ‘Eco’ Common Currency By Francophone West African Countries
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lauded the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) for changing the common currency of French-speaking West African countries to Eco from the CFA francs.
Eight West African countries on Saturday (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) agreed to change the name of the currency with the exception of Guinea-Bissau.
The statement by the Managing Director of IMF, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, stated that the monetary organisation is ready to engage with the regional authorities, owing to its proven track record in the conduct of monetary policy and external reserve management.
“I welcome the reforms to the WAEMU’s CFA franc currency arrangement that were announced today by Presidents Ouattara and Macron in Abidjan. They constitute a key step in the modernization of long-standing arrangements between the West African Economic and Monetary Union and France.
In recent years, the WAEMU has recorded low inflation and high economic growth, the fiscal situation has improved, and the level of foreign exchange reserves has increased.
“The reforms also maintain key elements of stability that have served the region well, including the fixed exchange rate with the euro and the guarantee of unlimited convertibility provided by France.
“The IMF stands ready to engage with the regional authorities, as needed, and to support the implementation of this important initiative.”
The announcement for the change in currency was made on Saturday during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer and France’s former main colony in West Africa.
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