CFA Franc BCEAO
The CFA Franc BCEAO is pegged to the Euro at 1 euro = 655.957 XOF. It is used by eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo.
- Benin is underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture and cotton. Cotton accounts for 40% of GDP and roughly 80% of official export receipts. The country also produces textiles, palm products, and cocoa beans. Maize (corn), beans, rice, peanuts, cashews, pineapples, cassava, yams and other tubers are grown for local subsistence.
- Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world with an average income per capita of €250 (US$300). More than 80 percent of the population relies on subsistence agriculture, with only a small fraction directly involved in industry and services. Highly variable rainfall, poor soils, lack of adequate communication and other infrastructure, a low literacy rate, and a stagnant economy are longstanding problems for this landlocked country. The export economy remains subject to fluctuations in world prices.
- Côte d'Ivoire has a largely market based economy, and depends heavily on the agricultural sector. It is among the world's largest producers and exporters of coffee, cocoa beans, and palm oil. Almost 70% of the Ivorian people are engaged in some form of agricultural activity.
- Guinea-Bissau exports fish and seafood, along with small crops of peanuts, palm kernels, and timber. License fees for fishing provide the government with some revenue. Rice is the major crop and staple food.
- Mali’s economy is based on agriculture. Its population is overwhelmingly rural, and mostly engaged in subsistence agriculture.
- Niger’s economy is based largely on internal markets, subsistence agriculture, and the export of raw commodities: foodstuff to neighboring countries, and raw minerals to world markets.
- Senegal gains most of its foreign exchange from fish, phosphates, groundnuts, tourism, and services. Its agricultural sector is highly vulnerable to variations in rainfall and changes in world commodity prices.
- Togo serves as a regional commercial and trade centre. The government's decade-long effort, supported by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to implement economic reform measures, encourage foreign investment, and bring revenues in line with expenditures, has stalled.
- BCEAO stands for Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest.
- The CFA Franc BCEAO replaced the French Franc in 1945 in the French colonies of West Africa (Côte d'Ivoire, Dahomey, French Sudan, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Upper Volta).
- The currency continued to be used after these colonies gained their independence, except in Mali (formerly French Sudan), which replaced the currency with its own Franco in 1961. Mali returned to use the CFA Franc BCEAO in 1984.
- Mauritania adopted the currency in 1973.
- The former Portuguese colony of Guinea-Bissau adopted the currency in 1994.
Symbols and Names
- Symbols: dollar - CFA, cent - c
- Nicknames: céfa, franc
ISO 4217 Code
- Centime = 1/100 of a Franc
- Bills: 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 francs
- Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 500 francs