Common currency for West African States

English-speaking members of the Economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS), plus Guinea, on Thursday condemned a recent announcement that the French-backed CFA franc used in eight West African countries would be renamed as the Eco. The countries say the move "is not in line" with plans by the regional bloc to adopt a single currency also called the Eco. In late December 2019, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara announced that the West African CFA franc, used by the former French colonies of Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo, as well as by Guinea-Bissau, would be retired sometime in 2020 and replaced with a new currency – called the Eco. Ouattara's announcement came as a surprise to the six mainly Anglophone ECOWAS members who don't use the CFA franc. This is because back in June 2019, ECOWAS leaders had formally decided at a summit that the region's planned common currency should be called Eco — the same name as the CFA zone group now plans to adopt.

We are joined by:

• Odhiambo Sande is an advocate of the high court of Kenya specialising in regional integration in Africa /EAC –

• Professor Mark Ellyne from the University of Cape Town’s department of Economics. He also worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)as a senior economist