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ABIDJAN IVORY COAST (DECEMBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF WOMAN SELLING SNAILS IN THE MARKET VARIOUS OF WOMAN GIVING FRANC CFA CURRENCY TO BUY SNAILS FRANCS CFA IN TRADER'S HANDS ABIDJAN IVORY COAST (DECEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF VERSUS BANK SIGN ON WALL OF VERSUS BANK READING UEMOA (UNION ECONOMIQUE ET MONETAIRE OUEST AFRICAINE/ WEST AFRICAN ECONOMIC AND MONETARY UNION) ROAD SIGN READING BCEAO (French): (BANQUE CENTRALE DES ETATS DE L'AFRIQUE DE L'OUEST/ CENTRAL BANK OF THE WEST AFRICAN STATES) VARIOUS EXTERIOR BCEAO HEADQUARTERS SIGN READING (French): VISA, MASTERCARD AND FOREIGN EXCHANGE PEOPLE AND TRAFFIC ON THE ROAD WITH BNI BANK SIGN VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING IN THE BUSINESS DISTRICT (SOUNDBITE) (French) CURRENCY EXPERT PROA YAO AUGUSTIN, SAYING: "With this currency, we have a fixed exchange rate, which means that whatever hiccup the economy goes through, the exchange rate is fixed. One Euro equals 655.957 XOF. This first principle causes us problems. Why? Because today we do not benefit from the flexibility of the world economy. It is as if we can only deal commercially with a single country, France, and in a subsidiary fashion, the European countries. So this parity causes us problems. All the serious economists have carried out research and shown that the rate of exchange that we need here in the CFA zone is a flexible exchange rate." FRANC CFA NOTES BEING COUNTED 5000 FRANC CFA NOTES BEING COUNTED AND EURO CURRENCY NEXT TO THE CFA PILE MAN USING CALCULATOR CALCULATOR AND EUROS AND CFA NOTES ON TABLE MAN USING CALCULATOR (SOUNDBITE) French) CURRENCY EXPERT PROA YAO AUGUSTIN, SAYING: "I do not understand how today, in the 21st century, that still, a country we call France controls the monetary policy of our country. The BCEAO (Central Bank of West African States) we call it the Central European Bank in West Africa because fundamentally it is not a central bank that is free since we cannot freely fix the key rates, we cannot freely finance our economy without permission from France." (SOUNDBITE) (French) BANKER LUC BENON, SAYING: "Even if the currency is an instrument of sovereignty we still have to go in stages. It is not because some countries have their own currency that today they are more stable. I would not want to go for a currency just to have a currency like in some neighbouring counties like Guinea. Look at Zimbabwe where you need a suitcase full of notes just to buy bread. It needs to be well thought out and progressive. There is no pride in saying 'I have my own currency' if this currency in reality is worthless in the international market. That is what I recommend, less populism and less passion." PEOPLE AND TRAFFIC (SOUNDBITE) (French) ACCOUNTANT EVRA GUY KOUAME, SAYING: "In my view we need to have total financial independence, leave the Euro completely so we can then come out with a new currency. I have heard there may be a new currency in the years to come which would be called the ECO. But the ECO would still be dominated by the Euro. We really need to leave this ideology, create our own currency and get our country moving forward because we have a lot of resources in Ivory Coast, in Africa. All the continents get resources from here in Africa so why not develop ourselves. We are always behind the great nations. So leaving the euro is the best decision for the Ivory Coast in order to grow our economy." VARIOUS OF MAN SHOW EUROS

French-Backed African Currency Under Scrutiny During Macron Visit

Item ID: 122154991

By: Reuters

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