Strengthening Economic Resilience in Francophone Africa: Does Having Reserves in the French Treasury Matter?

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Strengthening Economic Resilience in Francophone Africa: Does Having Reserves in the French Treasury Matter?

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Date: July 31 , 2024
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:00pm (GMT+1)
Venue: Zoom Online (Register Now)

  1. Background

Francophone Africa is made up of 14 countries grouped into two monetary zones: the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). These zones both use the CFA, which is pegged to the euro with the same fixed exchange rate (before 1999, they were pegged to the French franc). They all have a unique monetary agreement with France, which entails depositing 50% of their foreign exchange reserves into a so-called Operations Account with the French Treasury. While this arrangement offers some stability, it can also limit monetary policy flexibility in response to internal and external shocks. Indeed, this practice, rooted in colonial agreements, has been a topic of debate, with critics arguing that it limits economic autonomy and perpetuates dependence on France. While supporters insist that the CFA franc has become an “African currency” managed by Africans and is a factor in economic integration and monetary and financial stability for them, France only plays the role of solidarity, acting in a completely disinterested manner. In recent years, there have been calls for reforms to provide these nations with more control over their reserves and monetary policy since most of these countries are faced with significant economic challenges, including vulnerability to external shocks, limited financial buffers, and dependence on foreign aid. Building adequate foreign exchange reserves becomes crucial for these countries to manage exchange rate volatility, intervene in the foreign exchange market, support essential imports in times of crisis, and ensure economic stability. With this in mind, the Nkafu Policy Institute, a think tank of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation, is organizing a conversation on the theme “Strengthening Economic Resilience in Francophone Africa: Does Having Reserves in the French Treasury Matter?”

2. Objectives

This conversation aims to promote effective reserve management in Francophone Africa, enhancing the resilience of the region’s economies and fostering cooperation among policymakers, central bankers, and experts. More specifically, the conversation will consist of;

  • Examining existing strategic reserve management practices which involves looking at current policies, capacities, and challenges faced by these countries.
  • Analyzing the economic vulnerabilities of Francophone African countries by examining factors like dependence on commodity exports, susceptibility to natural disasters, and limited diversification.
  • Promoting regional cooperation between Francophone African countries for strategic reserve management.
  • Providing actionable insights to inform policy decisions and enhance the resilience of Francophone African economies.

3. Target audience

The event targets Central banks and policymakers from Francophone African countries, economic experts, researchers, development partners, international organizations, financial institutions, political decision-makers, entrepreneurs, traders, academia, members of civil society, as well as public and private sector players.

4. Expected outcome of the event

Central banks, economic experts, researchers, entrepreneurs, academia, members of civil society, as well as the general public will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of reserve management in promoting economic resilience, and learn from successful reserve management strategies and policies implemented by other countries.

  1. Contact details

Email: [email protected] / Tel: (+237) 654 86 72 54

Date

Jul 31 2024

Time

3:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Location

Zoom Online
Nkafu Policy Institute

Organizer

Nkafu Policy Institute
Phone
+237 654 86 72 54
Email
[email protected]
Website
https://nkafu.org/

Catalyzing Africa’s Economic Transformation

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