Thousands of demonstrators on Saturday took to the streets in several French-speaking African cities, calling the Pan-African Emergency Movement to say no to the CFA, a currency they claim “prevents development” and is keeping countries in poverty.
Members of civil society in Dakar-Senegal, Cotonou in Benin, Douala-Cameroon, Libreville-Gabon and Bamako in Mali have called for the abolition of the CFA, that is shared by 14 francophone African countries.
These protests follow the burning of a 5,000 CFA note by Senegalese activist Kemi Séba last month. It is equivalent to $9.20.
“We are asking to get out of the neo-colonial CFA Franc precision. It is important because ultimately for me the name does not matter.To have a currency called CFA, for me it does not matter. The thing is this currency, whatever its denomination, the FCFA should be a sovereign currency, or a currency whose monetary policy is defined by and for Africans”, Guis Marius Sagna, activist.
Those protesting against the CFA, a common currency for about 155 million people, say it only favors the interest of France.
But its defenders are arguing the importance of a stable common currency, compared to the Nigerian Naira or the South African Rand, floating currencies which often suffer from inflation, calculated on the basis of the US dollar.