Concerned Cameroonians have voiced out their support for a United Nation official’s call for the review of the Franc CFA currency presently used by 14 African countries, including Cameroon.

Carlos Lopes, UN Assistant Secretary General cum Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, recently pointed out that the “West and Central African francs are Outdated and need to be reviewed.”Cameroon is a member of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, CEMAC, and has been using the Franc CFA since independence in 1960.

Time for currency revision

“It really should be an issue to the French speaking African countries. No country in the world can have a currency that hasn’t been revised for over 30 years. This only exists in French speaking countries in Africa. Therefore something needs to be done,” the UN official advanced.Going by the diplomat, the currency needs to be reviewed and adapted to meet International Standards.

An official in Cameroon’s Ministry of Finance, who spoke on condition of anonymity, corroborated Lopes, adding that the currency retards development and is grossly accountable for the country’s woes.Other Cameroonians experts hold that the country has to renegotiate its foreign reserve while some advanced that the country or the economic bloc to which it belongs should settle for its own currency.A presidential candidate has prior to the 2011 presidential election in Cameroon proposed the ‘Um’ as probable new currency for the country.

Neocolonial ties

In April 2016, Hubert Kamgang, an economist and National Chairman of the pan-Africanist party – Union of African Populations, said the Franc CFA is a neo-colonial tool used by France to robe her former colonies.Last year, activists staged a demonstration on the streets of the nation’s capital Yaounde, demanding the rejection of the Franc CFA.

They marched with placards which gave to understanding that the use of the Franc CFA has been long overdue.It should be recalled that the Franc CFA was created for French speaking countries by France as far back as 1945.