Ghana is looking to drop its currency, the cedi, to join the new West African currency called “eco,” anticipated to replace the CFA franc as early as 2020, Reuters reported. Ghana is not part of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), which is largely comprised of former French colonies.
“We, in Ghana, are determined to do whatever we can to enable us [to] join the Member States of UEMOA soon, in the use of the eco, as we believe it will help remove trade and monetary barriers, reduce transaction costs, boost economic activity and raise the living standards of our people,” said President Nana Akufo-Addo’s office in a statement.
Ghana is against tying the eco to the euro, and wants regional authorities to be quick about “adopting a flexible exchange rate regime,” the statement said. Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, the Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo are planning to drop the CFA franc in favor of the eco as well.
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara and French President Emmanuel Macron said earlier in December that the UEMOA would sever several financial ties with Paris.
“Under the deal, African countries in the bloc will not have to keep half of their reserves in the French Treasury, and a French representative will no longer sit on the currency union’s board,” Reuters said.
Ghana said in October that it was planning to eliminate paper from most services and transactions by next year, as it aims to become Africa’s most digitalized economy. The government has claimed that it will have “electronically tagged” every home, including informal housing in slums, via GPS by early 2020. In addition, there are plans to make payments for all government services cashless by next year.