Look, I think "it is good to hate the French" as much as the next guy, but this is marxist bilge. France has many sins and some of them are in Africa (patrons of the Hutus anyone?) - but providing a sound currency to countries that would be basket cases on their own is not one of them. Inflation is not a good thing poor Africans are being kept out of.
The article is also incoherent. It blames the French for capital flight and for capital entry. If high interest rates aren't merited by the real risks, then why is capital flight a problem? Do locals not want in on such a good thing? The reality is the risks are high, and the rates are free market ones. Those rates provide real capital, not internal looting displacements from one class to another, which is all inflating the currency can accomplish.
The author also confuses a need to go through France with actual inconvertability, toward the end. If african francs have to first be traded into francs (or Euros), that doesn't stop anything. You just sell the francs or euros you traded them for, for whatever else.
As for continental government led by the likes of Nasser, sure that would have helped (sarcasm alert). Marxist tyrants would like the run the place themselves, loot all foreign capital already there, and inflate like mad to steal from their own populace. Look at Zimbabwe if you want to see where that leads.
posted on 02/07/2004 9:53:26 AM PST
"France has many sins and some of them are in Africa (patrons of the Hutus anyone?) - but providing a sound currency to countries that would be basket cases on their own is not one of them. Inflation is not a good thing poor Africans are being kept out of. "
Germany, tnem Belgium, not France, was the colonial power in Ruanda-Urundi, which became the states of Rwanda and Burundi. The Germans and the Belgians both supported a political system which they saw as run by "Tuutsis" and ethnicized the country along Tuutsi/Hutu lines until independence.
Inflation is not a good thing, but since most Africans in the CFA zone have little cash savings (if any) the effect of the CFA-Euro link is higher prices for most people and binds these countries to the French economy. Compare prices in Ghana or Guinea with those in the CFA zone
posted on 02/07/2004 12:05:41 PM PST
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