Dec 5, 2022 • 1HR 4M

CFA Franc Zone: Colonialism By Another Name

France still has colonial holdings in Africa as evidenced by the CFA Zone

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Last month, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni drew some waves when she (rightfully) criticized French Colonialism in Africa. She drew particular attention to the CFA Franc Zone.

While her critique was rightful, there is much to be said about her motivations.

Today, we are joined by Ndongo Samba Sylla, author of “Africa’s Last Colonial Currency” to talk to us about the brutal history of the CFA Franc and how it purposefully impoverishes Africa.

Show Notes

0:41 - Colony within a nation:

“Neoliberalism is another iteration of colonial logic, at least economically speaking”

5:14 - President Mitterand in 1957, “Without Africa, France would have no history in the 21st century”

6:48 - CFA Frank with two monetary zones

9:11 - Who liberated France?

10:11 - CFA Franc was born out of the devaluation of the French Franc

12:12 - Sham Decolonialisation

13:40 - Guinea

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15:45 - Sekou Toure

17:34 - Fundamental Principles of the CFA system

21:06 - The third pillar “Guarantee of convertability”

  • Central banks are obliged to deposit with the central bank 50% of their exchange reserves.

30:00 - Military Agreement with Relation to the CFA Frank

32:15 - Thomas Sankara Example

36:28 - French Interventions of Africa

38:53 - What is going on in Mali?

44:51 - Struggle against Monetary Repression

“Instant Misery Fund” = IMF

47:03 - Secrecy behind the CFA institutions

50:20 - France is a “Guaranteer”! What does it mean?

  • Africans provided loans to the French Government.

56:03 - Myths surrounding the CFA Franc


What do you think about the CFA Franc Zone?

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