Seven West African countries have adopted their long-proposed common currency called ECO to replace the much-criticized CFA Franc. As part of the arrangements, former French colonies will no longer hold the usual exploitative 50% percent of their foreign exchange reserves in the French Treasury. In addition, French representatives that serves on the union board that manages issues relating to the region’s currency will be withdrawn but the ECO will be pegged against the EURO.
This news came with mixed reactions. A section of the African citizenry and sympathizers were happy because, they are of the view that, the economic slavery Francophone Africa has suffered over the years will at least be over. Others thought that the new deal is another well-packaged neo-colonial strategy disguised to create a certain image for the French government which has been facing strong criticisms for its parasitic relationship with the former colonies.
Those who are well-informed about the history between African countries and their colonial masters have genuine reasons to doubt the influence behind the ECO until the practical implementation proves otherwise. This is because, from the gun and chain approach of colonialism, countries on the continent were presented with what they referred to as “independence” which later morphed into a new form of colonialism that we are experiencing today hence the need to remain wide awake and scrutinize every package they present to us again before we end up selling the next African generation into another mess.
West African countries, especially the former French colonies need real independence from France. The mere introduction of the French government into the new arrangement to provide back-up in the form of a line of credit in times of crisis creates a sense of dependency and is equally enough reason that, France still has some form of hidden influence over the new currency.
There are lots of doubtful questions that need to be answered and we will not relent until there is total liberation.