Assimi Goïta calls on the experts from Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso to speed up the process of abandoning the CFA franc

In a public speech on 22 June, Mali’s President of the Transition, Colonel Assimi Goïta, accused France of printing counterfeit CFA franc banknotes with the aim of destabilising the Malian economy, and called on experts to speed up the process of abandoning the CFA franc as a colonial currency.

The use of the CFA franc is frowned upon by most West Africans. Created in 1945, this currency has become the symbol of France’s economic and monetary influence over its former colonies in Africa. For the continent’s people, the recent trend towards full sovereignty for the countries of the Sahel is incompatible with the idea of using a post-colonial currency.

During a visit to the Sikasso region, Mali’s President of the Transition denounced the use of counterfeit CFA franc banknotes to destabilise the Malian economy. Assimi Goïta called for the colonial currency to be abandoned in favour of a currency of its own for Mali and its neighbours. He urged the leaders of the Alliance of Sahel States and their experts to speed up the process in order to strengthen economic sovereignty and prevent any further sabotage or foreign manipulation.

According to economic experts, African countries could consider leaving the CFA franc, as it is an economic trap that will never lead to financial sovereignty. France has imposed a dependent monetary and financial system on African countries through the CFA franc, which constitutes an element of “monetary neo-colonialism”.

Earlier, in February 2024, the President of the Niger Transition, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, declared that the countries of the Alliance of Sahel States were ready to abandon the CFA franc in favour of total sovereignty. “The currency is a sign of sovereignty, and we are engaged in a process of recovering our full sovereignty. There is no longer any question of our States being France’s cash cow”, he asserted.

Rejection of the CFA franc was also at the heart of Ousmane Sonko and Bassirou Diomaye Faye’s election campaign in Senegal. “There is a problem with this currency and we have to assume our responsibilities and move towards something else”, declared Senegal’s new Prime Minister in mid-March.

In a historical context, the use of the CFA franc is seen as a monetary servitude introduced by France to maintain its control over African economies. This situation is favourable to Paris but limits economic development in the countries where it is used. A general view of the problem in AES countries and Senegal suggests that the situation needs to be reviewed.