Just before France conceded to African demands for independence in the 1960s, it carefully organised its former colonies (CFA countries) in a system of “compulsory solidarity” which consisted of obliging the 14 African states to put 65% of their foreign currency reserves into the French Treasury, plus another 20% for financial liabilities. This means these 14 African countries only ever have access to 15% of their own money! If they need more they have to borrow their own money from the French at commercial rates! And this has been the case since the 1960s.
Believe it or not it gets worse.
France has the first right to buy or reject any natural resources found in the land of the Francophone countries. So even if the African countries can get better prices elsewhere, they can’t sell to anybody until France says it doesn’t need the resources.
In the award of government contracts, French companies must be considered first; only after that can these countries look elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if the CFA countries can obtain better value for money elsewhere.
Presidents of CFA countries that have tried to leave the CFA zone have had political and financial pressure put on them by successive French presidents.
And this is what we have been living in since 1893. Independence what ? Never happened. It was just an occasion to party and pretend democracy exist.
To those who thought the days of colonialism are gone… The Eurocentric/US-centric power structures continue to reap benefit through insidious forms of neocolonialism. Economics is one. Crop monoculture is another. Political intervention is another. The list goes on… and on…