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Three Junta-Led African Nations to Ditch Franc CFA, Creates Monetary Union

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Three Junta-Led African Nations Sets to Ditch France CFA, Creates Monetary Union
Niger's head of state, Abdourahamane Tchiani.

Following Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger’s declaration to resign from ECOWAS, the three junta-led nations are reportedly discussing abandoning the region’s CFA franc currency.

“It’s not just the currency. Anything that maintains us in slavery, we’ll break those bonds,” Burkina Faso’s military ruler Ibrahim Traore said in an interview posted on YouTube.

In an interview on state television on Sunday, Abdourahamane Tchiani, head of the Niger junta, stated that leaving the euro-pegged CFA franc would be a sign of sovereignty and a crucial step in breaking away from French “colonisation”.

The three countries’ self-appointed military leaders are considering forming a monetary union, and top officials from all three countries have expressed, to differing degrees, support for dumping the currency.

According to Reuters, the CFA franc currencies – one for West Africa and another for Central Africa – sit at the heart of an emotional debate over sovereignty and development in French-speaking Africa.

These states, having pulled out of ECOWAS, kicked out French soldiers and rolled back a U.N. mission in Mali, have consistently shown they value sovereignty over expediency.

Meanwhile, Tchiani had expressed that the country is prepared to face the consequences of such a decision even though it means risking the opinion of financial experts on what it means to dump the CFA franc, which is more complicated than withdrawing from ECOWAS.

Given these risks, the juntas are approaching the currency question more carefully than their ECOWAS withdrawal.

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