Another devastating blow to France: the collapse of the CFA franc zone begins

The head of the military council in Niger, General Abderrahmane Tiani, announced on Sunday, February 11, 2024, the possibility of establishing a common currency in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, and according to General Abderrahmane Tiani, the establishment of a common currency with the three is considered a “step out” of “colonialism” and was referring to the CFA franc F CFA and France, the former colonial power. The currency is a sign of sovereignty” and that the AES countries are “engaged in the process of restoring their full sovereignty.” He stressed that “there is no longer any doubt that our countries are the cash cow of France”, there is a degree of seriousness in the intention of the three countries to extract themselves from the close bond with their former colonial power: France because these three countries canceled their military and security agreements with France and described the French military presence in them, as well as diplomatic contacts with the French are minimal or almost disappeared in addition to Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso withdrew about two weeks ago from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which includes 15 countries, which they see as subject to French pressure exerted against them, so they formed together an alliance called the Alliance of Sahel States (AES), also known as Leptako-Jourma, which is an alliance or joint defense agreement concluded between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso on September 16, 2023 and called the Alliance of Sahel States (AES).

It is very likely, in my opinion, that France will seek to thwart this step or the decisive blow that is still in the process of the three countries’ intention to leave the CFA franc area and issue a common currency for them, which is expected to be called the Sahel, to the maximum of its intelligence and diplomatic capacity. On the public level, it was announced on February 6, 2024 that French President Macron issued a decision appointing former French Minister Jean-Marie Boukill, who condemned France Africa (he sees it as a system of corruption and political polarization and is a commercial portfolio).

Between Paris and its former African colonies, a former senator who lost his son Pierre, a French army officer in a helicopter collision in Mali in December 2019) as his “personal envoy” to Africa at a time when Paris plans to significantly reduce its military presence on the continent, the French president also assigned the former Minister of State for Cooperation under President Nicolas Sarkozy (2007 and left the ministry in 2008) with the task of “explaining” the partner countries hosting French bases (Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon and Chad) Explain the reasons and modalities of these amendments Jean-Marie Bouquel will have to submit his recommendations to the Elysee in July 2024, and the setbacks of French policy in Africa have been compounded by the liquidation of the French presence in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, after disappointments in the Sahel accelerated the process of reorganizing France, which intends to drastically reduce the number of its military personnel, with the exception of Djibouti, in favor of a more clandestine presence. Informed sources told AFP that the lines The petition for this reorganization was set out during the Defense Board in December 2023.

On January 15, 2024, the French media indicated that “in this broad file, i.e. the file of the seizure of the French state or government, whichever seized more than 45 billion CFA franc is an illegitimate asset of this president overthrown in a military coup in 2023Ali Bongo This file dates back more than 15 years and is suspected of being the assets obtained thanks to funds from France Africa, a powerful system of corruption, political polarization and trade chases between Paris and its former colonies on the continent. It was the ouster of President Ali Bongo Ondimba from power that questioned his immunity as head of state and threatened him to be the eleventh Bongo child who William Bourdon, a lawyer for the anti-corruption Transparency International Association, said that “Ali Bongo has lost his immunity and the file shows that he can be questioned if he is not tried, but there is no doubt that his poor health is an obstacle to this.” The investigation is progressing rapidly The French judicial system has already confiscated many things, and in fact, according to TV5 Monde, “three real estate companies suspected of involvement in the money laundering network have been indicted.” In October and November to join BNP Paribas which was charged in August 2021 with “at least 35 million euros” of alleged funds”, and in August 2023 and again in December 2023 about ten properties were confiscated in the high-end neighborhoods of Paris, in Provence or in the Côte d’Azur (south) valued at about eight million euros and in total property worth a total of about 70 million euros has been confiscated so far, as indicated by a judicial source in September 2023.

Despite all of the above, the Western media is still promoting in circumventive ways various messages, some of which are real to the bad effects of the decision to leave the CFA franc zone, as the reform of the CFA franc was negotiated throughout the second half of 2019 between France and the eight member states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA): Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo and France, but nevertheless, the CFA franc has not disappeared completely, as the six countries in Central Africa, namely Cameroon and the Republic of Central Africa, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad constitute a distinct monetary area that continues to be used.

Charlie Robertson, head of macro strategy at London-based FIM Partners, told Reuters that “abandoning the single currency would lead to a big depression,” adding that it would be the worst political mistake these countries could make, which is worth thinking about given that Mali is the only of the three countries that tried the national currency between 1962 and 1967, to no avail.

French monetary expert Olivier Vallé, who worked as a technical adviser to the International Monetary Fund for the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and was based in Bamako and also worked in Niamey, believes that it is possible for the three countries of the New Sahel Alliance (AES) to decide to separate from the CFA franc and the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) but without leaving the customs area of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).

Africa, but in the behavior of the Central Bank of West African States, which froze all Nigerian treasury accounts, this is the stumbling block, and the current situation in the three countries in the eyes of Mr. Olivier Valle is not bad, there was no net decline in economic growth, the performance of public finances in Mali is very good, and Niger’s budget for 2024 is a very reasonable budget because it is a thousand billion less [than the CFA franc] than it was initially planned.

It dates back to July 2023 and depends on Niger’s economic growth of 6%, which will certainly be boosted by gold, which has begun production in China, uranium – whose prices are rising – and oil – which is expected to supply the pipeline leading to Niger within a few days and to the port of Simi in Benin, while Burkina Faso announced on December 15, 2023 that National Security Minister Albert Kan Dabah expressed disappointment with the allocation of the budget to his ministry, while the ministry requested 2.5 billion yen to You only get 1.6 billion The minister stated that this reduction in allocations may hinder their ability to face internal and external security challenges, especially in the next electoral year, and despite these setbacks, he stressed that the ministry will continue to work for national security as well The Speaker of the Transitional Legislative Council, Dr. Othman Boujemaa, chaired the plenary session on December 15, 2023 to study and vote on the initial budget law to implement the state budget for the year 2024, and the budget reflects the government’s priorities in financing the restoration of territorial integrity and the management of the humanitarian crisis. With a large part of the money allocated to the defense and security sectors, it is worth noting that the Burkinabe budget has 3019.1 billion CFA francs of revenue and 3694.6 billion CFA francs of expenditure, leading to a global budget deficit of -675.5 billion CFA francs. Revenues have improved by 387.8 billion CFA francs compared to 2023 despite the prevailing conditions.

However, expenditures also increased by 458.7 billion CFA francs compared to the previous year. The share of the state budget allocated to the health and defense sectors 11.90% and 29.49% respectively in 2024The investments planned for 2024include the allocation of 29.49% of the state budget to the defense and security sectors, 11.90% to the health sector and 26.26% to the education sector.

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs has allocated a budget of 49.9 billion CFA francs, and the Minister of Finance confirmed that financial resources will be allocated to various sectors to cover basic needs.

The Nigerian giant largely dominates the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which alone accounts for 66% of GDP, while the three countries combined account for only 8% of the group. Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso – mostly agricultural economies – are closed and landless and their populations still depend on ECOWAS for many other economic aspects such as their electricity supply. International Financial Market With their exit from the West African Economic and Monetary Union, the three countries will deprive themselves of financing in the future, for example, and they can see their rating fall rapidly and the depreciation of the future new currency. For Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, the challenges will not only be limited to printing new banknotes, but it will also be necessary to establish a central bank, formulate and decide on a common monetary policy, and manage the transition towards abandoning the African Union franc. There are, of course, many important questions. Opponents of the decision to withdraw from the CFA franc bloc believe that this decision is worth considering given that Mali is the only country among the three countries that experimented with the national currency between 1962 and 1967.

Returning to the question of leaving the CFA franc zone, others assert that the CFA franc question created in 1945 is the real eel of West and Central African countries. While proponents of this vision praise the CFA franc’s peg to the euro as a guarantee of macroeconomic stability, its critics condemn it on the contrary as a growth brake and an outdated effect from French colonial domination until the 2019 reform when countries were required to keep part of their reserves. Kimi Seba, president of the NGO Urgences panafricanistes, confirmed this view during his interview with Sputnik on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa summit, where he said about the crisis of the CFA franc for African countries, saying that he considers the CFA franc “cancer” “destroys any competitive process” and with the support of the euro, which is a very strong currency for local economies, the CFA franc “is not in line with the economic reality of our countries.”

Although the intention of the three countries: Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso is held to achieve effective independence from the influence of France, there are other signs that deny achieving this intention in the short term, at least on January 30, 2024, the President of Burkina Faso, Ibrahim Traoré, indicated after announcing his country’s withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that the FCFA agreement may be the next step, and in the meantime, Burkina Faso was forced to postpone the process of financial mobilization in the regional market without expressing Reasons Abdoulaye Diop and Boubacar Nakanabo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mali and Minister of Economy of Burkina Faso, respectively, indicated during recent media statements that their countries are not yet considering leaving the franc zone: “We have noticed (…) That the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is sometimes manipulated by foreign powers Aboubacar Nakanabo said in remarks carried by the Burkinabe Information Agency: “We believe that this modus operandi does not correspond to what we have as a vision (…) A few days ago, the Malian foreign minister had indicated, according to comments carried by several media outlets, that his country would remain in the monetary union, and such comments alleviate the uncertainty created by the comments of Brahim Traoré, President of Burkina Faso.

On January 15, 2024 the French media indicated that in recent days, the embassies of the United States and France in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, have been subjected to violent protests and accuse the two Western countries of supporting the war in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been going on for nearly 30 years. For these protests on social media and have sometimes been accompanied by critical comments about the West’s role in Africa, one tweet, which has been viewed more than two million times, one netizen suggests that the protesters’ anger can be partly explained by the $500 billion annual colonial tax that the Democratic Republic of Congo has to pay France.

Of course, the strategy of Françafrique will be greatly affected and may be replaced by a new strategy all the novelty has consumed this old strategy and collapsed recently from the three weak Francophone countries and the problem of France that they are traditional and very strict and linked and proud of the colonial legacy abhorrent to others, and they follow in most of their policies in other regions of the world a model similar to the model of Françafrique , in Lebanon, for example, we find them following the impact of Françafrique sectarianism that they enshrined in the Lebanese constitution and they are even in the tasks of the French envoys who They go and go between Beirut and Paris working for the base of sectarianism even in some of their contacts with Hezbollah regarding the confrontation with the miserable Zionist entity, in any case will cost them the exit of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso a lot, but through the second office or the French foreign intelligence is undoubtedly looking for means, methods and methods to help them get rid of the leaders of the coup in these three countries they came from outside the French standards and standards and must be ended and quickly France is always with the military in the usurpation of power But provided that they are not qualified to rule and their level of religious, psychological, scientific or educational is low, which is what the leaders of the three countries take into account they are aware and attentive to the danger of France more than before on the national security of their country and will use the French media and French politicians and their counterparts in Africa and intensively more presto terrorism in order to raise instability in these three countries France and its strikes are a demolition force not a building force and this is what did not believe a sector of Arab politicians and diplomats to very unfortunately.

The biggest beneficiaries of the potential severe blow of the total exit from the CFA franc zone coming from the ECOWAS withdrawal trio are, in order, the United States, China and Russia, and it is expected in the short term, after the decision to exit the CFA franc area linked to the euro, that the United States will pay the International Monetary Fund to support these countries, each according to its economic, military and security importance, to support the economies of these three countries enough to repel the very expected negative effects of this exit and make it safe as much as The United States, as it did in filling the vacuum that resulted from the withdrawal of the British Empire from several parts of the world and the Middle East, especially after World War II and sunset, it is now creeping to fill the vacuum resulting from the liquidation of the French presence in West Africa and the Francophone world, and that gradually free of media bang and this filling process will be by the American Military Command for Africa AFRICOM and the United States International Development Agency (USAID), which is one of the most important means of supporting the African Opportunity and Growth Act. Growth and Opportunity Act, issued in 2000, provides eligible sub-Saharan African countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for more than 1,800 products as well as more than 5,000 products eligible for duty-free entry under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.

France will try in the short term to work very quickly to take intelligence means that may force it to follow means that will not depart from the meaning of being subversive Sabotage to thwart if not coup against the will of the leaders of the three African countries Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso rebellious and vengeful against France, which is facing its biggest crisis now ever, and what is surprising is that France is still treated by the leaders of the Middle East as a strong country and cooperation with it is profitable Rentabilité and desirable in what is in the political reality in the West Africa is a reprehensible state or power.

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Relations in addition to a Master's degree in International Security Studies. Alongside this, I have a passion for web development. During my studies, I acquired a strong understanding of fundamental political concepts and theories in international relations, security studies, and strategic studies.

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