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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The franc zone and monetary integration in the Economic Community of West African States
Author:Nwokedi, Emeka
Periodical:Nigerian Journal of International Affairs
Geographic term:West Africa
Subjects:franc zone
Communauté Économique de l'Afrique de l'Ouest
Abstract:Studies have frequently correctly depicted the franc zone monetary arrangement as an instrument for perpetuating French predominance within the economies of its mainly French-speaking sub-Saharan member States. Nevertheless, the mechanism has facilitated economic exchanges within the West African Economic Community (CEAO), even though member States have not drawn full advantage from the 1973 reforms of the West African Monetary Union (WAMU), the West African variant of the franc zone. Given the multiplicity of currencies and other factors which impede trade and, therefore, integration within and between the member States of ECOWAS, the establishment of a monetary union between them becomes imperative. The inadequacies of the franc zone monetary arrangement ought to impel its West African member States to seek monetary cooperation under the aegis of ECOWAS, thus enabling them to break away from the French stranglehold. Yet, the actions of the CEAO States within ECOWAS single them out as members of a homogeneous economic grouping which is in competition with the larger body. Political and economic questions over the modalities of the ECOWAS monetary union remain unanswered, and most ECOWAS member States treat decisions and actions of this body with such levity that doubt is cast over the prospects for a monetary union which will eclipse the franc zone in West Africa. Notes, ref.