Banque centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (BCEAO)

Central Bank of the West African States

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1 Nov 1962, on coming into force of a Convention signed 12 May 1962, replacing the Institut d'émission de l'AOF et du Togo, set up 1955, Paris (France). Currently governed by Treaty signed 14 Nov 1973, Paris, and entered into force 11 Oct 1974, setting up West African Monetary Union (WAMU) - now subsumed in West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) - to which BCEAO statutes are annexed. The Treaty also formed agreement with government of France. Since the establishment of UEMOA, 1 Aug 1994, the Bank is common Issuing Institute of all UEMOA member states. Comes within the framework of African Financial Community (CFA), all member countries being part of CFA Franc Zone (PAZF) and having the common currency 'CFA Franc'. The Bank is unofficially referred to by English initials CBWAS.


Act as issuing institute for member states of WAMU, managing their common unit of currency, the CFA franc, and the monetary, banking and financial system; organize and monitor distribution of credit; provide professional training in banking and finance.

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Has the exclusive privilege of issuing monetary devices that are legal currency and tender in member states. Although monetary reserves of CFA countries are normally held in French francs in the French treasury, BCEAO may hold up to 35 percent of its foreign exchange in other currencies. WAMU Banking Commission functions as supervision and control organ to guarantee protection of depositors and stability of the financial system, according to an agreement in force from 1 Oct 1990. The Commission: conducts on-site and off-site inspections of banks and financial establishments; comments on requests for authorization by banks and financial institutions; makes warnings, injunctions or disciplinary procedures if applicable provisions are not respected; takes disciplinary sanctions in relation to the infraction committed.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 25 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 6 non-governmental organizations.
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Members in 8 countries
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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Commerce
    • Banking
  • Government
    • Nation State

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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