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History of the CFA franc

The CFA franc is the common currency of the 14 African countries belonging to the Franc Zone. The states include :

  • Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo, which make up the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), whose central bank is the BCEAO ;
  • Cameroon, Central Africa, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad, which form the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC), whose central bank is the Bank of Central African States (BEAC).

History

The CFA franc was created on December 26, 1945, the date on which France ratified the Bretton Woods Agreements and made its first declaration of parity to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). At the time, the name meant "franc of the French Colonies of Africa".

It was later known as the “franc of the African Financial Community” to the member States of the West African Monetary Union (WAMU) and as the “franc of Financial Cooperation in Central Africa” to the member countries of the Central African Monetary Union (CAMU).

CFA F parity
Creation of the CFA F December 26, 1945 CFA F 1 = FF 1.70
Devaluation of the French franc (FF) October 17, 1948 CFA F 1 = FF 2.00
Creation of the new French franc January 1st, 1960 CFA F 1 = FF 0.02
Devaluation of the CFA F January 12, 1994 CFA F 1 = FF 0.01
Pegging of the CFA F to the euro January 1st, 1999 CFA F 655.957 = 1euro

Convertibility

  • Guaranteed in French francs by the French Treasury.
  • Can take place into foreign currencies through the exchange markets of Paris, with the French franc as its anchor.
  • Total freedom of transfer within the Franc Zone.
  • August 2, 1993: suspension by the BCEAO of purchases of banknotes issued by the BCEAO when exported outside the African countries belonging to the Franc Zone.
  • September 17, 1993: entry into force of the decision by the authorities of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) to suspend purchases of banknotes issued by it when exported into the WAMU Zone.
  • December 20, 1993: suspension by the BCEAO of purchases of banknotes issued by it that are held in the CAMU Zone.