By my reckoning, the rebranding of Central African Franc (CFA), which was the relic of the colonial French rule in Western African states. During the last few 48 hours, there is news of a new currency, which has implications, but also imperfections.
The ones praising this move is naive. The reason is simple, Emmanuel Macron or the French is still not giving way to power nor influence. They are still having their hand in the cookie jar. They are still involved with the inner-works of the financial sphere of the former colonies. They are maybe stopping the control directly from the National Bank of the French.
This move is to ease the pain of the past, but still the French and the European Union will have their stakes in it. As the pegged currency will be accordingly traded towards the Euro. A Euro, which the French has influence over in the EU. Therefore, the former colonies and the ones accepting this “ECO” Currency are accepting control from Paris and Brussels still.
They are maybe done with the regulations of CFA and the banking system as known today. But the ECO will be measured after the Euro. This is all a condition, that still benefits the former colonizer. If it wouldn’t, he wouldn’t have accepted it. Not like the French wants to loose influence nor the ability to easy trade with former colonizes. Why do you think most of the cars in Tunisia is French and not a random Skoda?
With that in mind, the ECOWAS was not launching this, but Macron was. Therefore, the whole thing seems like ploy to leave one relic behind, hoping people would be so happy that they don’t look into the mechanisms of the new currency. Not like the French would ever drop influence nor their strong hand over Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal & Togo. All of these will still be semi-controlled by Paris.
I have a hard time believing the intent of the French is to give way. No, this is just a shift to extend their power and find new measures to secure it. By remaking the former currency and the monetary union these nations have. Not like they are suddenly creating their own or having 8 separate ones. If they did that, then it might been significant. Where the own national banks, together with Ministry of Finance would make and ensure the safety of own national currency accordingly and necessary for their own Republic.
To remake and rename, only questions the motives behind the move. Other, than trying to clean the dirt of your hands and call it good days work. After years of questioning the currency and the stranglehold of these Republics. By having appointed men in their National Banks and having their gold in Paris.
I lack faith, but I am also very cynical about it. I’m not easily buying into it. I am hopefully wrong. Until the measures, until the mechanisms are all out and the proof of a vital change. It just seems like a small ploy to trigger hope for a difference, when its really just a new name and the same landlord over it. Its still the same farm and the same output, but the master just renamed the land differently. Peace.
Sometimes we need an reminder, that some powers and some states doesn’t come with the best intentions or with a real helping hand. If it is the famous white elephants or the other giant aid initiatives that doesn’t amount to anything. However, what is now at stake is for instance a lot African states and their loans to China. The Chinese has collateral in either ports, state owned enterprises or ability to directly extract the needed resources the current state with huge loans has. This is their trap and Sankara warned about this, just like the French, British and Americans has done in the past too. Nothing new under the sun, just new methods to get ahead.
What I am quoting is a speech done to the OAU in 1987, just a few months before his assassination. Therefore, the words and warnings seems more important. As in our time, the leaders of today is recycling the ills of the past. They are doing it out of greed and in the end, the people and the citizens will suffer. Not the multi-national corporations, not the state itself, but the public whose disregarded and have to reinvent money.
The wise words of Sankara:
“We believe analysis of the debt should begin with its roots. The roots of the debt go back to the beginning of colonialism. Those who lent us the money were those who colonized us. They were the same people who ran our states and our economies. It was the colonizers who put Africa into debt to the financiers—their brothers and cousins. This debt has nothing to do with us. That’s why we cannot pay for it. The debt is another form of neocolonialism, one in which the colonialists have transformed themselves into technical assistants. Actually, it would be more accurate to say technical assassins. They’re the ones who advised us on sources of financing, on underwriters of loans. As if there were men whose loans are enough to create development in other people’s countries. These underwriters were recommended to us, suggested to us. They gave us enticing financial documents and presentations. We took on loans of fifty years, sixty years, and even longer. That is, we were led to commit our peoples for fifty years and more. The debt in its present form is a cleverly organized reconquest of Africa under which our growth and development are regulated by stages an norms totally alien to us. It is a reconquest that turns each of us into a financial slave—or just plain slave—of those who had the opportunity, the craftiness, the deceitfulness to invest funds in our countries that we are obliged to repay. Some tell us to pay the debt. This is not a moral question. Paying or not paying is not a question of so-called honor at all” (Thomas Sankara – Speech given at the African Unity Organisation Conference, Addis Ababa, July 29, 1987).
Let us not forgot the lessons of the past, as we in the present is continuing a cycle of recycling debt, growing debt and cycles of repayment schemes, which will only make the next generation suffer. If not, when the grace period hits and the state doesn’t have a big enough tax-base or revenue. It defaults and has to give away extraction licenses, state owned enterprises and other vital transport infrastructure like ports and airports. Because, that what is happening.
This is happening in our time. The world is looking, but nothing is getting done. Peace.