It is the colonial pact that set up the common currency for the Francophone countries, the CFA franc, which demands that each of the 14 CFA member countries must deposit 65% (plus another 20% for financial liabilities, making the dizzying total of 85%) of their foreign exchange reserves in an “Operations Account” at the French Treasury in Paris.
Nicolas Sarkozy, French President:
They have been robbing Africa since long
The African nations therefore have access to only 15% of their own money for national development in any given year. If they are in need of extra money, as they always are, they have to borrow from their own 65% in the French Treasury at commercial rates. And that is not all: there is a cap on the credit extended to each member country equivalent to 20% of their public revenue in the preceding year. So if the countries need to borrow more than 20%, too bad; they cannot do it. Amazingly, the final say on the CFA arrangements belongs to the
French Treasury, which invests the African countries’ money in its own name on the Paris Bourse (the stock exchange).
It is, again, the Colonial Pact that demands that France has the first right to buy or reject any natural resources found in the land of the Francophone countries. So even if the African countries could get better prices elsewhere, they cannot sell to anybody until France says it doesn’t want to buy those natural resources.
It is again the Colonial Pact that demands that in the award of government contracts in the African countries, French companies should be considered first; only after that can Africans look elsewhere. It doesn’t matter even if Africans can obtain better value for money elsewhere, French companies come first, and most often get the contracts. Currently, there is a case where just before the elections in Cote d’Ivoire, the Gbagbo’s government wanted to build a third major bridge to link the central business district (called Plateau) to the rest of the city, from which it is separated by a lagoon. By Colonial Pact tradition, the contract must go to a French company, which incidentally has quoted an astronomical price – to be paid in euros or US dollars.
Not happy, Gbagbo’s government sought a second quote from the Chinese, who offered to build the bridge at half the price quoted by the French Company and payment would be in cocoa beans, of which Cote d’Ivoire is a world’s largest producer. But the French said, “non, you can’t do that”.
Under the Defence Agreements attached to the Colonial Pact (which were run by the French defence ministry ), Paris had the legal right tointervene militarily in the African countries, and also to station troops permanently in bases and military facilities in those countries, run entirely by the French.
Overall the Colonial Pact gives the French a dominant and privileged position over Francophone Africa?
In short, the Colonial Pact has created a legal mechanism under which France obtains a special place in the political and economic life of its former colonies.
This is surely a big scam instituted by the French to continue to steal
resources from Africa in order to survive. France would be poor and worst off without this “legitimate” neo-colonial day-light robbery.
It is time Francophone Africa wakes up to this reality that although they claim to be independent, there is hardly anything independent from the French. Francophone Africa is not independent, the French are choking them and making them poor when they should have been able to reduce poverty and improve on their infrastructure.
It is a shame that the French should be living off the meager resources of these poor African states and this has made worse the poverty situation in most Francophone Africa. They say they are developed and that they eschew corruption and embrace all those nice virtues, but behind the back, the French are really starving Africa. It is these resources that should have been used to alleviate poverty that has made the French what they are. This should not happen in this day and age. What right do these French people have to decide the fate and
destiny of Africans? Why can’t Francophone Africa tell the French to get off their back, for them to have meaningful development? WAKE UP FRANCOPHONE AFRICA.
[Part of this article is taken from NewAfrican (February 2011: page 13)