The FCFA was created right after World War II on December 26, 1945 by the French government then headed by Charles de Gaulle. FCFA means Franc of the French Colonies of Africa. In other words, the FCFA was created to facilitate France’s stranglehold on her sub-Saharan colonies.
Despite the so-called independence, France succeeded in maintaining this colonial currency in many of her former colonies, the reason being that stooges and bootlickers were forced on the newly independent countries and in some cases – like Cameroon – at the expense of those who fought for liberation. In the early 70’s (1972 in Central Africa and 1973 in West Africa) new agreements were passed between France and the African countries using the FCFA.
This is how the BEAC and the BCEAO were created, each issuing a FCFA different from the other. Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony up to 1968, joined BEAC in 1985, while Bissau Guinea, a former Portuguese colony joined BCEAO in 1997. In a nutshell, the FCFA is a neo-colonial currency. Read Kwame Nkrumah: “The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality, its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside.
The methods and form of this direction can take various shapes. For example, in an extreme case, the troops of the imperial power may garrison the territory of the neo-colonial State and control its Government.
More often, however, neo-colonialist control is exercised through economic or monetary means. The neo-colonial State may be obliged to take the manufactured products of the imperialist power to the exclusion of competing products from elsewhere. Control over Government policy in the neo-colonial State may be secured by payments towards the cost of running the State, by the provision of civil servants in positions where they can dictate policy, and by monetary control over foreign exchange through the imposition of a banking system controlled by the imperial power.”