Francophone Africa continues is currently displaying the best economic performances on the continent registering impressive growth rates of close to 8% in 2017 with rising projections for the next decade just behind emerging and developing Asia.
WHAT IS FRANCOPHONE AFRICA, WHAT IS NOT FRANCOPHONE AFRICA?
Africa is home of the majority of French speakers in the world. The French language covers 31 countries of Africa including the Maghreb region (Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia).However, talking about Francophone Africa is talking about Sub-saharan French speaking countries which are members of the OIF (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie). In Africa, Francophonie includes both of the Congos, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Togo, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
FROM A FORMER FRENCH COLONIAL TERRITORY TO A STRONG AND STABLE REGIONAL ECONOMIC REGIONAL POWER WITH A COMMON CURRENCY
As well as language and colonial heritage, they are bound by a single currency, which is pegged to the euro, and guaranteed for conversion and transfer by the French treasury. There are actually two currency zones, one in West Africa and one in Central Africa. The West African Zone is known as the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA – the West African Economic and Monetary Union) and comprises eight countries. The Central African Zone is known as the Communauté Économique et Monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale (CEMAC – the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa) and comprises six countries. Both zones use a currency called the CFA franc which is technically different in the two different zones, but in practice is interchangeable.
ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING MARKETS
Currently Francophone Africa is among the fastest growing economies doing even better than Anglophone’s:
FRANCOPHONE AFRICA BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
Currently Francophone Africa is among the fastest growing economies:
UEMOA UNION ÉCONOMIQUE ET MONÉTAIRE AFRICAINE DE L'OUEST)
The West African Monetary and Economic Union (also known under the French acronym, UEMOA) was established with the Treaty signed in Dakar on 10 January, 1994 allowing the use of the CFA Franc in common. The Member States are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Noting that Côte d'Ivoire is providing 38% of regional GDP.
CEMAC (IN ENGLISH CAEMC CENTRAL AFRICAN ECONOMIC AND MONETARY COMMUNITY )
The Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) is made up of six States: Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, the Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea.Noting that Cameroon is providing almost 29% of regional GDP.
FRANCOPHONE MAGHREB AS A BRIDGE BETWEEN EUROPE AND SUB-SAHARA FRANCOPHONE AFRICA
The French speaking Maghreb countries have become a real hub for a lot of companies including the European, Moroccan or Algerian exports and importers.
Morocco is banking on the growth prospects of Sub-Saharan Africa to stimulate its own economy and has allowed Morocco to emerge as the first investor in Sub-Saharan Africa as North African nation.
QUESTIONING THE ROLE OF THE FRANC CFA
The CFA Franc is currently discussed because it is pegged to the Euro at a rate of CFA 656 per Euro and guaranteed by the French Treasury and the European Central Bank. It makes exports too expensive because initially it was correlated to the French Franc, meanwhile it finds its equivalence with the German Euro, given the current domination of the German in the economy of the Euro Zone. On the other hand, the stability of the currency has a high price as because of the obligation made to each member country of the CFA zone to accept the mobilization of the half of it's foreign exchange reserves with the Treasury in France. Among a large number of some economists in Francophone Africa the question of leaving the CFA zone has been raised, this may however be risky because of a unknown future by an independent local Central Bank where budgetary discipline will have to be ensured to avoid a strong devaluation of the currency along with a hyperinflation.
FRANCOPHONE AFRICA BANK ASSETS BY COUNTRY CONTRIBUTION
The following graphic reflects the current contribution of Morocco to the Francophone African banking system in terms of banks assets.
TODAY'S TRENDS IN FRANCOPHONE AFRICA ECONOMIES
Without doubt Côte d'Ivoire, Africa’s fastest growing economy is likely to maintain its lead in 2018. The recent reforms contributed in rebuilding investor confidence. USD 16 billion worth of foreign investments including grants and loans are projected to be spent within the National Development Plan (2016 to 2020).
Interesting links related to Francophone Africa
FRANCOPHONE AFRICA ONLINE