Monetary Integration in West Africa: History, Theory, Policy

Prior to the colonial era, money issuance in West Africa depended on slave trade. With the advent of the colonial rule, silver coins were imported then progressively imposed as a tool of coercion. The post-colonial trajectory was different for former British and French colonies. While the former regained their monetary sovereignty, the latter continued under a monetary union under the auspices of France. The proposal of the Eco as a single currency for ECOWAS is therefore a whole new step for some countries and a simple exercise of adaptation for others. Hence, a bold policy agenda is needed if the currency union is to be a success.