Liberian President George Weah urged francophone West African nations to delay regional currency reforms to get the implementation of the so-called eco back on track.
The West African Monetary Union, led by Ivory Coast, in December agreed to change the name of the CFA franc to the eco and end a requirement that the authority keep a portion of its reserves in France. Central African states that use a different version of the CFA franc aren’t party to the reforms.
The name eco was previously chosen for a future common currency in 15 west and central African countries including Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Ghana.
Weah said talks should be held between regional leaders and Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, who announced the adoption of the eco on behalf of West African francophone nations earlier this year. The goal of the discussions would be to prevent the WAMU from implementing its version of the new currency, Weah said after a virtual summit with West African Monetary Zone heads of state this week.
“This will win us some time to continue to resolve this matter,” Weah said.
The CFA franc is currently used in two African monetary zones, one for eight West African countries and the other for six in central Africa. In return, the states have to keep half of their reserves in France, on which the French Treasury pays a 0.75% interest rate, a requirement that will end when the nations move to the new currency.
Regional leaders should also hold talks with French President Emmanuel Macron about the reforms, Weah said.