West Africa launches new currency in break with France

Alassane Ouattara

The president of the Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara

The central banks of West Africa have taken a major step towards breaking their monetary ties with Europe, launching their long-awaited “eco” currency and cutting some historic ties with France.

On December 21, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) declared the bloc’s currency would be renamed from the CFA franc to the eco, to be overseen by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).

The central banks of the region will no longer be expected to hold reserves with the

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