Ghana backs West Africa’s Eco currency but opposes euro peg

One of West Africa’s bigger economies, Ghana, has thrown it’s weight on the one currency system for West African states, replacing the CFA franc, but does not agree with the attachment the currency will have with France.

In a statement by Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo, he expressed his country’s desire to be part of the new system outlining the benefits of the one currency system.

“We, in Ghana, are determined to do whatever we can to enable us (to) join the Member States of UEMOA, soon, in the use of the eco, as, we believe, it will help remove trade and monetary barriers,” the president said in a statement. Ghana was never a French colony and has its own currency, the Cedi.

The ECO, is set to begin operating early 2020 and will be attached to the euro just like the CFA was backed by the french CFA franc, this, however, has not gone down well with the Ghana president who called on the regional authorities to work quickly toward “adopting a flexible exchange rate regime”.

Ghana’s adoption of the new currency, which is called the eco, would make it the bloc’s largest economy, ahead of neighbor Ivory Coast.

Unlike the first deal with the CFA franc, African states in the bloc will no longer be obligated to keep 50% of their foreign exchange reserves in the Banque de France and no french representative will sit on the currency union’s board.

The 8 countries set to change from the CFA franc to the eco are Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo – all former French colonies except Guinea-Bissau.