Africa-France monetary cooperation

France is linked to 15 African countries by monetary cooperation agreements, which constitute a unique solidarity mechanism in the world.

France's African partners form three different blocs, each with its own central bank and currency:

  • Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo are members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Their currency is the African Financial Community franc (XOF) issued by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) - although its name will be changed in the future by the member countries.
  • Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea, which form the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). Their currency is the Central Africa CFA franc (XAF), issued by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC).
  • The Comoros, with the Comorian franc (KMF) as its currency.

Cooperation between France and its African partners contributes to the financial stability of these partners, by offering protection against the risks of balance of payments crises, as well as promoting strong, sustainable and inclusive growth. This cooperation constitutes a regional financial arrangement that contributes to the global financial safety net, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at its core. Based on a strong historical and cultural tie, it also aims to find common solutions to the challenges of development and the international economic environment.

This cooperation is based on two fundamental principles:

  • The fixed exchange rate with the euro, pegged at EUR 1 euro = 655.957 CFA francs (XAF/XOF) and EUR 1 = 491.968 Comorian francs (KMF). This peg has enabled the WAEMU, CEMAC and Comoros countries to enjoy much lower inflation than other sub-Saharan African countries for several decades.
  • The unconditional and unlimited convertibility guarantee offered by the French Treasury, in the form of an advance to central banks, in the event of depletion of foreign exchange reserves. This financial safety net ensures the credibility of the currency peg to the euro and provides effective protection against balance of payments shocks.

This cooperation is accompanied by a coordination effort in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. This effort is notably carried out within the Anti-Money Laundering Liaison Committee (CLAB), a consultation and technical support body whose permanent secretariat is provided by the Banque de France

Updated on: 04/07/2022 14:11