Symposium Posts


Colloque sur la réforme du franc CFA en Afrique de l'Ouest: La Lutte Pour la Souverainete Monetaire en Afrique de L'ouest

L’Afrique de l’Ouest est composée de 16 pays divisés en ex-colonies britanniques, françaises et portugaises. Dans le cadre des efforts d’intégration économique, ces pays fondèrent en juillet 1978, la Communauté des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO). Depuis cette date, il y a eu des progrès pour intégrer ces différents pays, tant au niveau des échanges économiques qu’au niveau des systèmes de paiements. C’est dans ce dernier domaine que la CEDEAO peine toujours à trouver une solution consensuelle pour adopter une monnaie commune ou unique. Depuis le milieu des années 1980, le chantier de la monnaie unique a été lancé mais il reste confronté à plusieurs obstacles d’ordre monétaire et politique, comme on le verra plus loin. Il y a actuellement huit (8) monnaies en circulation dans la CEDEAO, dont le franc CFA hérité de la colonisation française et sept (7) monnaies nationales

Everything Changes so that Nothing Changes: A Legal Reading of the Reforms Underway in West Africa on the CFA Franc

It is difficult in just a few lines to deal with a subject as complex as the monetary cooperation agreement that is supposed to govern the transition from the CFA franc to the ECO. The “franc zone” in Africa comprises two types of CFA Franc, each with a specific denomination: that of the countries of West Africa and that of Central Africa, to which is added the franc of the Union of the Comoros. The focus here is on the West African zone.

Colloque sur la réforme du franc CFA en Afrique de l'Ouest: Tout change pour que rien de change: lecture juridique des réformes en cours en Afrique de l’Ouest sur le Franc CFA

Il est difficile en peu de pages d’aborder un sujet aussi complexe que l’accord de coopération monétaire censé entériner le passage du Franc CFA à l’ECO[2]. Entendons-nous bien. La « zone franc » en Afrique comprend deux types de Franc CFA ayant chacun une dénomination spécifique : celui des pays de l’Afrique de l’Ouest et celui de l’Afrique centrale [3]; à quoi s’ajoute le franc de l’Union des Comores. Le propos porte ici sur la zone Afrique de l’Ouest.

Symposium on the CFA Franc Reform in West Africa: Tales of a (Not So) Great Sea Serpent: The Reform of the West African CFA Franc in Context

On 21 December 2019, the French President Emmanuel Macron and the Ivoirian President Alassane Ouattara announced a “reform” of the monetary cooperation relations between France and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). This reform comes with a transformation of the CFA Franc and takes place in the context of a single currency project of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The CFA Franc zone currently comprises of 14 sub-Saharan African countries belonging to two currency unions. [1] Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo are members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA),[2] established in 1994 on the foundations of the West African Monetary Union, itself created in 1973. The other six countries - Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad - are members of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC). These two unions use the same currency, the CFA Franc, which stands for Communauté Financière Africaine (“African Financial Community”) in UEMOA and Coopération financière en Afrique centrale (“Financial Cooperation in Central Africa”) in CEMAC. Apart from Equatorial Guinea (Spanish) and Guinea Bissau (Portuguese), the other 12 countries have been French colonies (de facto or de jure).[3] The CFA Franc is issued by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) (for West Africa) and the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) (for Central Africa). Each of these currencies is legal tender only within its own region, thus not directly interchangeable.

A Panoramic Definition of Piracy under the SPOMO Act: Matters Arising

This paper has shown that having a comprehensive definition of piracy, as exemplified by the SPOMO Act, is significant in curbing piracy because piracy is a complex crime that requires a fluid definition. Thus, piracy definition must be adjustable to the specific nature of different areas of law. Due to the commercial nature of piracy in Nigeria, an expansive definition of the crime becomes necessary. However, the paper observed that having a comprehensive definition of piracy without a specialised maritime court and regular training programmes for judges may not culminate in piracy suppression. This means that despite covering the field in terms of violent attacks on the high seas and in the territorial waters of Nigeria, the SPOMO Act may not be properly interpreted and applied in cases. The paper, therefore, suggested the creation of a specialised maritime court and regular training of judges to navigate the complexities of piracy cases in Nigeria. This will promote sustainable adherence to international law regime for suppressing piracy in Nigeria. Also, it will create a conducive environment to coordinate antipiracy programmes and measures among the Gulf of Guinea countries since Nigeria is the only county in the region that has domesticated the LOSC Convention.

Using Law Clinic as a Means to Teach and Disseminate International Humanitarian Law in Nigerian Universities

This article is an experience-based article that the writer, a supervisor of Baze University IHL Clinic, seeks to show how the activities in an IHL clinic could be used to teach IHL within the African context. This article will emphasis the pedagogy of teaching IHL through clinical legal education. It will attempt to show how activities of the clinic have helped to achieve not only the objectives of the clinic but shows how there can be a paradigm shift of the seemingly abstract notion of IHL to the practical and applicable manner students can perceive and appreciate IHL.

Insecurity in Nigeria – Whither International Law?

Nigeria continues to play a leadership role in its engagement with international law at the global, continental and regional levels. Having ratified and acceded to numerous international law treaties and instruments, and further domesticating many of them, the question to be asked is whether these instruments continue to have any tangible impact on the development of law in Nigeria? The purpose of this short commentary is not to rehash what has already been written but as indicated already, to comment on the current impact of international law on the Nigerian state and legal system. Against the backdrop of the ongoing war on terrorism, this contribution intends to assess if international law, and the principles emanating therefrom, are of any relevance in the current state of insecurity in Nigeria.

Nigeria and International Financial Crime Regulation: Past, Present and the Future

This essay argues that a correlation exists between Africa’s colonial history and its money laundering occurrences. Yet the global standards adopted to combat this crime do not consider the country’s peculiarities, a catalyst for unintended consequences. This argument is presented in three parts. The first part centers its discussion on the impact of Nigeria’s colonial history on money laundering and the regulation thereof. The second part focuses on the compliance trajectory of Nigeria and argues that the absence of a truly global framework hinders proactive compliance. The final part postulates that Nigeria has differing options to sustain a robust fight against ML/TF and concludes that a suitable outcome warrants the alignment of internal realities with the global standards.

Transnational Litigation and Climate Change in Nigeria

The foregoing analysis is analogous to the Nigerian situation where transnational litigation has been utilised by a plethora of stakeholders including local communities, civil society organisations (CSOs) and victims of environmental injustice arising from the activities of oil MNCs in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. CSOs in Nigeria have adopted litigation as a deliberate strategy in influencing the activities of government and MNCs in the oil and gas sector.