Letter: Benefits of African devaluation

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The Independent Online
Sir: I still remember when I was a student in the Ivory Coast, we read about General de Gaulle saying: 'The CFA was the rich peoples' money in the hands of the poor.' The devaluation of the CFA, which was the 'little brother' of the French franc, could possibly mean that the rich have taken away the money from the hands of the poor, or the money in the hands of the poor has lost its value.

Obviously the GDP growth rate of the CFA zone has fallen compared with that of the non-CFA zone in Africa. So if the currency devaluation is the best way to achieve economic growth that will last, then it should be welcomed, and not cause 'turmoil across the 14 former French colonies'.

The IMF, which has pressed the CFA zone for these reforms, should be thanked, not criticised, for helping the CFA states to get their economies in order - and for their promise of nine to 10 billion French francs for structural adjustments.

Sincerely yours,

NATHANAEL ZAKA

Bracknell, Berkshire

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