6 West African countries question name change of regional currency

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Five English-speaking West African countries and Guinea have criticised a move to change the name of the regional currency from CFA franc to the eco.

The West African Economic and Monetary Union, made up of eight former French colonies and former Portuguese colony Guinea Bissau, said in December that it was renaming the CFA franc.

Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia and Gambia criticised the move at the end of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) meeting on Thursday.

They said they “noted with concern” the announcement on 21 December “to unilaterally rename” the CFA franc by 2020, reports AFP news agency.

They asked for an extraordinary summit of leaders of Ecowas – the West African regional group made of 15 nations – to discuss the matter, reports Bloomberg news.

The renaming of CFA franc is not “in line with the decisions of the authority of heads of state and government of Ecowas for the adoption of the ‘eco’ as the name of an independent single currency,” Bloomberg news quotes the group as saying.

Last year Ecowas, which includes the huge economy of Nigeria, also set the goal of creating a single currency, and also aimed to call it the eco, reports AFP.

Titi