ECOWAS Accuses France Of Frustrating Common Currency Adoption

Adoba Echono, Abuja

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has alleged that France has been frustrating its effort to adopt ECO as a common currency in the West African region.

The West Africa Economic bloc noted that French authority was fueling political inertia in the region to prevent ECO from gaining acceptance in Francophone West Africa, over its CFA franc.

The CFA franc is the common currency for the Franc Zone, created in the 1930s on the eve of the Second World War.

Monetary Imperialism

Critics see it as a neo-colonial device and a form of French monetary imperialism in Africa that has been destroying any prospect of economic development in user nations.

Aligning with the view of critics on the subject matter, a member of the Nigerian delegation to ECOWAS Parliament, Honourable Kolawole Taiwo said the single currency was not about technicalities, but about the political will to set it in motion.

Honourable Taiwo who represented Ajeromi/Ifelodun Federal Constituency of Lagos State at the National Assembly expressed this misgiving at the sideline of the ongoing 1st Extraordinary Session of ECOWAS Parliament in Guinea Bissau.

He said: “Our leaders are not ready to make it happen. There are too many external interferences that are delaying it. For instance, the Francophone countries still see France as their master, and the French don’t want to let go of them which was the reason why they came up with the CFA franc in order to block the achievements of a single currency which is known as Eco. The problem of Eco is not technical but it is a political reason. If our leaders want it to happen tomorrow, they will announce it“.

Another MP from Liberia, Mr Clarence Massaquoi said, achieving a 2027 single currency will need practicalities and political will to do it.

We should be concerned about the economy of other smaller countries, which will speak well of the political will of our leaders of their countries. I think, in the ECOWAS region, we are reluctant to exercise our political will on several decisions,” the lawmaker explained.

He further argued that single currency forms part of the basis for saying that ECOWAS have to gamble with the realities by making decisions.

The lawmaker said Africa should not be afraid of political powers which to him, was the reasons why the continent is laggingg behind in decisions.

I hope ECOWAS can take decisions; the political will is for the structure itself. As it stands, the parliament does not have full Parliamentary power, so most of the decisions are taken by the authority of Heads of State,” he said.

He added that the continent should let go of some of the political control that kept holding it back in he past.

Lateefah Ibrahim

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