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Burning Spear News

We cannot be fooled: Macron reforms the CFA to maintain French colonial domination in Africa

Mar 9, 2020
Luwezi Kinshasa, African Socialist International Secretary General

The CFA franc, (originally Franc of the French Colonies in Africa, recently Franc of the Financial Community of Africa, or colloquially franc) is the name of two currencies, the West African CFA franc, used in eight West African countries, and the Central African CFA franc, used in six Central African countries.

On December 21, 2019 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Allassane Ouattara the French puppet president of Côte d’Ivoire and Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, signed documents to announce the end of the CFA franc that French imperialism has imposed on us since 1945.

Macron told a lie to justify the reform of the CFA franc, saying, “It was by hearing your youth that I wanted to initiate this reform. The CFA franc crystallizes many criticisms and many debates on France in Africa. I have heard the critics, I see your youth which criticizes us for continuing a relationship which it considers post-colonial. So let's break the moorings."

Pro-colonialism Ouattara exposed his platitude by saying, “this ‘historic’ decision was taken with complete sovereignty. It takes into account our desire to build our future in a responsible manner.”

Has the French colonial monetary domination of the currency known as the CFA franc, used in 15 countries, come to an end because of the reform conceded by French president Emmanuel Macron in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire?

According to French news outlets, the currency will be renamed the “eco” next year and French officials will no longer be represented on its governing bodies.

In addition, a requirement that the eco’s member states keep half their foreign reserves in France will be rescinded.

What has led Macron to accept to carry out this reform of the CFA franc is the growing anti-colonial movement in all parts of Africa's 14 countries which use the CFA franc.

The 75 years of France’s imperialist control of the “Franc Colonial Franc of Africa (FCFA),” that was later changed to “Franc de la Communauté Financière d’Afrique” to disguise its colonial character and function, was genocidal and bloody.

It is an economic crime of the highest magnitude against humanity that requires France to repay African people all value stolen from Africa because of this insane relationship.

It is right that it has come under severe criticism from African people throughout France’s former 14 colonies, of which eight are part of the West Africa Monetary Union (UMOA in its French acronym).

It comprises: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo, and they are managed from the “Central Bank of West African States” (BCEAO in its French acronym).

The other six colonies, located in central Africa: Gabon, Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Chad, Central Africa Republic, and Equatorial Guinea, are organized through the “Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa” (CEMAC in its French acronym). Their CFA franc is run by the “Bank of Central African States” (with the French acronym BEAC). 

The CFA franc is also used in the Comoros Islands, located in the so-called Indian Ocean.

The two pillars of France Afrique: the CFA franc and military bases

“France Afrique” is the name used by Africans to highlight the neocolonial relationship between France and their colonies in Africa.

It is through the control of the CFA franc and the French military bases in Africa that France exerts control over its puppets in power.

In a speech in Côte d’Ivoire, Macron said “I wanted to engage France in a historic and ambitious reform of the cooperation between the West African economic and monetary union, and our country,” said Macron. “With the reform of the CFA Franc, we are taking a big step to write a new page in our relationship with Africa.”

We know better, France is an imperialist country, which is why we are not expecting France to fundamentally change its relationship with its African colonies, but rather make a cosmetic change to take the pressure off from the masses of angry African people.

Macron needs a reform to kill the rise of revolutionary consciousness in Africa. He had no other option than to make a concession.

The question is will this be enough to derail the growing African national movement to recapture our own African resources and destiny?

The FCFA and French military bases have been the most flagrant representation of French white power domination and humiliation of Africa.

Half of the reserve currency of French colonies will no longer be deposited at the French treasury, but it is not yet clear where that money will be deposited.

Cyril Bensimon in Le Monde newspaper indicates that in 2015 alone, African countries transferred €19 billion to the French treasury.

This reform presents that French authorities will no longer sit in the executive board of the institutions that preside over the FCFA in Africa.

For the time being, the six central African countries are not part of Macron’s reform on the replacement of the CFA franc with the eco.

The bloody history of the CFA franc used to maintain French colonial domination

We all know how France punished Sekou Touré for daring to say no to France’s offer of neocolonialism, which will have made Guinea a part of this monetary French colonial pact.

France stripped Guinea of every resource to force Guinea on its knees.

Fortunately, Kwame Nkrumah led a solidarity movement with Guinea to stop France from succeeding.

On January 13, 1962, the French government assassinated Sylvanus Olympio, the first president of Togo, who dared to create the central bank of Togo with the authority and mandate to print its own currency despite venomous opposition from the French ruling class.

The French swiftly used its African soldiers, freshly returned from Algeria and Vietnam where they’d been carrying out French counterinsurgency against the Algerian and Vietnamese national liberation struggles, to launch the first coup in neocolonial French Africa, just one year after the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo.

Sylvanus Olympio took refuge in the U.S embassy, which collaborated with the French rulers to deliver him to the hands of the butchers of the African neocolonial army, headed by Eyadema Gnassingbe, the father of the current president, Faure Gnassingbe, whose forces shot Sylvanus Olympia at close range several times in the head.

On 12 January 1994, the French government in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) devalued the FCFA by 50 percent overnight, robbing the African Nation of untold wealth and throwing millions of Africans into absolute poverty.

We must also recall for our readers that Modibo Keita, the president of Mali, who quit the FCFA to unite with Sekou Touré in Guinea and Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana, was also overthrown by another bunch of black soldiers at the service of French imperialism, led by lieutenant Moussa Traoré in November of 1968.

Between the first coup in 1963 and the most recent 2010 coup that overthrew and humiliated Laurent Gbagbo, along with his wife Simone Gbagbo, French rulers have used military power to keep control over its African colonies, by overthrowing every single leader who dared to oppose the FCFA colonial pact.

Some former French colonial countries discontinued the use of the FCFA straightaway after their independence.

For example: Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia got their independence with the right to print and manage themselves their currencies and foreign currency reserves.

We can’t be satisfied with small reforms, we want real change.

We want African unification and liberation under the leadership of the African working class.

France out of Africa!

Build to win!

Build an independent African economy!

 

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