English-speaking ECOWAS countries reject rebranding CFA as eco

Six countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have rejected the eco currency adopted by eight mostly francophone countries.

Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia and Gambia, who are all English-speaking, as well as Guinea, a francophone country, stated their position on Thursday.

Eight mostly francophone countries had adopted eco as their the currency through their union, West African Economic and Monetary Union.

The six countries reached their decision at a council meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors that held in Abuja.


At the end of the meeting, delegates recommended that an extraordinary general meeting of ECOWAS heads of state and governments in the West African Monetary Zone be convened to discuss the matter.

“The meeting notes with concern, the declaration by the chairman of the authority of the heads of state and government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union on December 21, 2019, to unilaterally rename the CFA Franc as Eco by 2020,” the communique read.

“WAMZ convergence council wishes to emphasise that this action (is) not in line with the decision of the authority of heads of state and government of ECOWAS for the adoption of the Eco as the name of an independent ECOWAS single currency.


“WAMZ convergence council reiterates the importance for all ECOWAS member countries to adhere to the decisions of the ECOWAS authority of heads of state and government towards the implementation of the revised roadmap of the ECOWAS single currency programme.”

In July, ECOWAS agreed that ‘eco’, the proposed single currency for the zone, will be launched in January 2020.

They also agreed that a flexible currency regime would be adopted.

On December 21, eight countries — Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo — announced that they would be changing from the CFA to eco.


Guinea-Bissau is Portuguese-speaking while the rest speak French as official language.


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