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9 Sep 1939.
'Colonial Period': the France Zone existed, de facto but without that title, before World War II. The French franc was the currency of the French colonies up to the middle of the 19th century, from which time France organized progressively the issuing of currency by private banks 'in situ' to take account of local credit requirements. These banks, which included Banque de l'Indochine and Banque de l'Afrique occidentale, were under the overall control of the French administration. At the end of World War I, mechanisms were put in place to allow parity of exchange between bank notes issued by the Bank of France and those issued in the colonies.
'Formal Establishment' The existence of the Franc Zone was made official at the outbreak of World War II, when measures such as the non-convertibility of the French franc and exchange controls made it necessary to exclude Franc Zone countries from such requirements.
'Creation of the CFA franc' (franc des colonies françaises d'Afrique) - on 25 Dec 1945. Parity was fixed at 1.7; this increased to 2.0 in Oct 1998 and to 0.02 in 1960 (in line with the new French franc). It then remained unchanged until devaluation on 11 Jan 1994, from which time parity is 0.01. The 'Caisse centrale de la France libre', set up in 1941, London (UK), and later to evolve into the 'Caisse centrale de Coopération économique (CCCE)', currently Agence française de développement (AFD), issued bank notes for Equatorial Africa and the Cameroon, but for many countries responsibility was gradually transferred to nationalized banks of the countries concerned.
'Regional Institutions' In Apr 1959, newly independent states in Africa set up regional banks of their own: Central Bank of the West African States (BCEAO) and Central Bank of the States of Equatorial Africa and Cameroon (BCEAC). The official name for the CFA franc in the countries of BCEAO - African Financial Community (CFA) - became 'franc de la Communauté financière africaine', while for BCEAC countries it became 'franc de la Coopération financière en Afrique centrale, but the value of the two CFA francs was the same. BCEAO founding countries united in West African Monetary Union (WAMU) on 12 May 1962.
'Agreements with the Government of France on Monetary Cooperation' 1972-1973. These agreements extended the area of authority of the central banks in the Franc Zone. BCEAC was replaced by Bank of the Central African States (BEAC) on 23 Nov 1972, and a new agreement was signed with the French government. On 14 Nov 1973, the countries of UMOA (no longer including Mauritania) set up West African Development Bank (WADB) and an agreement with France was signed on 4 Dec 1973. These agreements (still in force) reduced the French influence on the Banks and allowed them to participate more actively in the development of member countries. Their headquarters moved to African capitals.
'Recent Developments' The treaty setting up West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), signed in 1994, completed that of UMOA, and BCEAO and BOAD became specialized autonomous institutions of UEMOA. A similar scheme was completed for countries of Central Africa Economic and Monetary Community (CAEMC), 1999. These countries are collectively referred to as CFA Franc Zone (PAZF).Available with paid subscription only.
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Members in 16 countries
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UN Sustainable Development Goals **
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