Eight West African countries have announced a new common currency ‘Eco’ as part of the move to do away with the remnant symbols of the French colonial period. These eight countries, belonging to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), are-Mali, Niger, Senegal, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, and Ivory Coast. All of these countries, except Guinea-Bissau, were French colonies. The Eco will replace the currently prevalent currency ‘CFA Franc’. This new currency is likely to come into circulation in July 2020.
The announcement for the new currency was made during French President Mr. Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Ivory Coast on December 22, 2019. In the beginning, the CFA Franc was linked to French currency. However, two decades ago, it was linked to Euro. Besides in the West African countries, the CPA Franc is also in circulation in six countries of Central Africa. The new Eco’s value will be pegged to the Euro. Originally, the CFA franc was introduced by France in 1945 and at the time it stood for “French Colonies in Africa.” Nowadays, it stands for “African Financial Community in West Africa” and “Financial Cooperation in Central Africa”.