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The future of the FCFA: Paris meeting ends with no agreement

Finance Ministers, the central bank governors and the presidents of the regional institutions of the Franc Zone met on Friday, October 2, 2015 in Bercy- Paris under the direct supervision of Michel Sapin, French Minister of Finance and Public Accounts. The meeting came within the framework of the second bi-annual forum of finance ministers of the Franc zone in the French capital. The first was held in Bamako, Mali, in April 2015. The Paris meeting had on its agenda the examination of all monetary agreements between France and the countries of the Franc Zone, the integration of capital markets in the Franc Zone and the internationalization of finance surveillance as a main counter terrorism response. 

Asked about the possibility for African countries to renegotiate the terms of the monetary cooperation agreement linking the countries of the Franc zone and France, Michel Sapin said that: "This is a debate that has existed ever since the creation of the CFA zone. What I can say from the French side is that we are in a space that is a desire shared space. It is a space where everyone is respected, where everyone can suggest a number of solutions. The franc zone is not a static area; it is not a historical area. This is an area that is dynamic. If there is on the part of each other in academic or political proposals, well, we will discuss together with the spirit of respect and equality.”

When asked whether the African countries of the Franc zone can effectively use the three thousand billion Euros of African money held in the French treasury. The French Minister of Finance and Public Accounts replied: "Yes, that is a question that is often asked. These reserves are essential for African countries to be able perform international business based on changes from day to day or month to month, to meet a particular need, for example pay for imports outside. So this is not confiscated money, not money set aside. This is money that can be mobilized at any time to meet the needs of African economies."

Cameroon was represented in this meeting by Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of Finance and also President of the Ministerial Committee for the Monetary Union of Central Africa. The franc zone also comprises France and 15 African countries. Eight of them make up the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Six others are the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC): Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad.

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Cameroon Concord  is an online publication covering and reporting on  local and world news, sports, entertainment, politics, business, and religious news. Serving Cameroonians .

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