24.11.2022 at 11h56
Nana Kamsu Kom
The CEMAC Commission and the BEAC were charged with proposing an appropriate scheme leading to the evolution of the common currency.
A colloquium was held on 17 and 18 November 2022 in Gabon on currency and development in Central Africa, participants leaned towards a “profound” reform of the CFA franc. The Gicam by Celestin Tawamba, president of the organization took part in a sub-regional symposium under the theme “Money and Development in Central Africa” in Libreville, Gabon.
While the issue of dissolution was not explicitly put on the table, the discussions touched on possible changes to the main mechanisms that currently govern monetary cooperation with France, namely: the guarantee of unlimited convertibility of the currency issued by the BEAC, the CFA Franc, by France; the fixing of the exchange rate; the freedom of transfer between CEMAC member countries and France; and the centralisation of reserves in an Operations Account opened at the French Treasury.
“I believe that it was quite clear from this work that monetary cooperation with France deserves to be reformed. Now, as for the meaning of the reform, opinions are obviously divided. There are some who would be satisfied with a reform of the name itself, given the symbolic charge surrounding the name. But for the vast majority, the reform should not be limited to a change of name. It should be a profound reform“, explained Professor Alain Kenmogne Simo, associate professor of law.
Most actors supported deep reforms of the CFA Franc, while representatives of various governments were less enthusiastic on far reaching reform measures. One of the deep reform experts out of the government circles wanted was to take another look at the parity between the Euro at the Franc CFA which changes at one Euro to 656 FCFA. Experts moved for the abandonment of the fixed parity for floating or intermediate exchange rate regime.
” Between the floating exchange rate and the fixed exchange rate, there is a range of intermediate exchange rate policies. We are moving towards an intermediate policy and not on the euro pegging scheme. We think the pegged scheme is outdated because we have new ambitions and a new development strategy since the international enviroment has also changed. Pr. Gabriel Zomo, a Professor at Omo Bongo University said.
Despite the insistance from experts and civil society organizations, the government bench remained unmoved and the meeting ended in a stalemate, with some blaming corruption for the state of sub-regional economies.