As WikiLeaks famously showed, Nicolas Sarkozy’s involvement in the imperial attack on Libya rested on the fear that Muammar Gaddafi, the revolutionary hero of the country, would replace France as French-speaking Africa’s dominant power and replace the CFA franc system with a system based on the gold dinar. This would have not only destroyed most French influence in Africa, but it would also have made the French bourgeoisie suffer a heavy blow.
The independence of French Indochina after the Second World War triggered a wave of independence in the French-speaking African countries, and it appeared that French colonial foundations had suffered a huge blow in the early 1960s. However, the main tool of the economic exploitation of its West African colonies, the CFA franc financial system, an old appendage of its colonial empire, resisted the decolonization wave. An apparent contradiction presents itself in the survival of an overt colonial superstructure in Africa in an epoch of formal political independence. Therefore, this article will analyze French imperialism through a careful study of its main superstructural tool, the CFA franc system.
The CFA Franc System
More than currency, the CFA franc is an institutional monetary system controlled by the French government. It is divided into three subregions covering different French-speaking African countries. First, there is the CFA in the West African Economic and Monetary Union is called the franc de la communauté financière en Afrique, made up of eight French-speaking West African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Next, there is the Economic Community of Central African States where it is known as franc de la coopération financière en Afrique centrale, which includes six Central African countries: Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic and Chad. The final subregion is the Union of the Comoros, where the Comoros franc is used. These three subregions, although all part of the CFA franc system, use these three different currencies issued by different central banks: the Central Bank of West African States, the Bank of Central African States and the Central Bank of the Comoros.1 These three currencies are not directly convertible with each other and must be exchanged through France, which gave itself the special role of “guarantor.”2
- The Evolution of French Imperialism
- The Transformation from Colonialism to “Usurious Imperialism,” from 1870 to the Second World War
The development of capitalism begins with the separation of the producer and the means of production, which Karl Marx called primitive accumulation, that is, the transformation of the means of production and subsistence of society into capital, on the one hand, and the transformation of the direct producers into wage workers on the other.3 It was during the transition from feudal to capitalist production that France began its maritime exploration and developed its colonial system: the direct plundering of newly discovered lands to bring the property back to France for conversion into capital, and the destruction of the colonies’ production methods and relations of production so that they could serve as markets for the sale of French workshops and crafts. The establishment of links between France and French-speaking Africa was a natural part of this process.
There was no systematic imperialist project in Africa until the 1870s, but there was a hesitant but uninterrupted political involvement aimed at building military security and economic viability, a “creeping imperialism,”4 Only when the productive forces, development of antimalarial medications and steamships, permitted a more efficient foray into the continent that France could successfully conquer large swaths of it.5 In the 1870s and ’80s, the Berlin Congress of 1886 stimulated and intensified the competition between France and the other European powers, which led to the period with the most rapid expansion of the French empire. The period of imperialism was already marked by its financial nature: French capital exports were concentrated in loans or bonds rather than in production, which helped France to make huge profits while maintaining a trade surplus.6 French banking capital was not yet dominant and still separated from productive capital. Around the time of the First World War, the French empire as “usury imperialism” took shape: France accounted for 20 percent of the world’s total foreign direct investment and was the second-largest exporter of capital in the world.7 At this point, financial capital, based on a specific social relationship between borrower and lender, replaced the capital relationship between buyer and seller in production and became dominant, resulting in the emergence of monopolistic organizations.8 The French empire thus completed its transformation from colonialism, characterized by direct plunder and territorial control, to “usurious imperialism,” characterized by the export of financial capital. It was the largest empire in the world in terms of territory and population, reaching its height during the colonial exhibition held in Paris in 1931.9 French imperialism from its origin had a particular essence of banking capital, extending into foreign social formations.
The Dilemma and Adjustment of French Imperialism after the Second World War
For France, the end of the Second World War posed a threefold challenge: first, there was the contradiction between economic reconstruction and the lack of financial resources after the war. Second, the colonies, which were the mainstay of the French empire, were inspired by the victory in the war against fascism and the war of national liberation in Asia and began an anti-imperialist and decolonization campaign. Finally, the franc’s strength and international position were both threatened by U.S. imperialism. The establishment of the Bretton Woods system in 1945 marked the centrality of the dollar and the dominance of U.S. imperialism in the camp of capitalist countries. France’s international influence and its financial strength were both weakened.
In the face of these changes, France had to accept the Marshall Plan of the United States, signifying the entry of U.S. financial capital deep into Western Europe. As the fundamental contradictions of imperialism are between free competition and monopoly, which exist side by side, the world economy is not ruled by a homogenous monopoly, but by different blocks of monopolies in competition.10 Cooperation between imperialist countries is only temporary, and their relations are fundamentally contradictory, as developed capitalist countries tend to represent their own bloc of monopoly capitalists with differing interests.
To stay autonomous from the expansion of U.S. imperialism after the Second World War and to keep its status as one of the world hegemons, France needed to stay in control of its African colonies, especially after the loss of Indochina.11 In 1945, France constructed the CFA franc institution in Africa, using military and political means to force French-speaking African countries to join it in exchange for peaceful political independence.12 The CFA franc was used as a financial instrument to manipulate the economy and finance of French-speaking Africa in order to counteract the penetration of the U.S. dollar in francophone Africa. By pegging the CFA franc to the French franc and subsequently to the euro, France seeks to exert exclusive control in the region, much like the Monroe Doctrine of the United States some two hundred years earlier.13 France was then able to maintain its autonomy from U.S. imperialism by the exclusive control over the French-speaking African countries by shaping their national financial apparatus in its own interests, as well as in the interest of the comprador class of the capitalist African countries, such as Senegal, which stood against the dissolution of the CFA franc and the formation of a local economic integration proposed by revolutionary Burkina Faso and Niger and other such countries in the 1970s and ’80s.14
The CFA franc system was, then, not only an answer to French imperialism to the wave of decolonial movements in the Global South, but also a direct answer to the risk of losing its hegemony in Africa to the U.S. empire.
The Operation of the CFA Franc
One of the key sources of French hegemony in the global division of labor since the end of the Second World War is its continued control over the former French colonies; that is, the French-speaking African countries.15 The latter provides France not only with a vast market for the sale of manufactured goods, raw materials vital to the development of modern industry, and the materials to build nuclear capacity.16 This section will focus on the CFA franc system itself, to clarify its starting point, its economic rationale, and its system of operation.
1. The Four Pillars of CFA Franc
Although France claims that the CFA franc is French-speaking Africa’s own currency, far from being based on equality, justice, and voluntariness, the system was constructed unilaterally out of France’s efforts to achieve economic hegemony through multiple superstructural mechanisms, in a politically balkanized Africa and to maintain its imperialist rule.
First, there is the principle of fixed exchange rates, whereby the exchange rates of the national currencies of the former colonies are entirely set and controlled by the French political authorities. This means that the value of their whole economic output is not decided by the laws of the international capitalist market or by the national political authorities, but rather by the French financial bourgeoisie.17 Unable to control their monetary policies, these countries do not have the economic power to set in place an economic strategy to serve developmental goals and some of the important tools to tackle inflationary or deflationary problems.
Second, the principle of centralization of foreign exchange reserves. This principle is based on the “Operation Account,” a partnership between the French Ministry of Finance and the three central banks responsible for issuing the CFA franc. Each central bank is required to deposit a specified share of the foreign exchange reserves of the member countries in its region in the Operation Account based in Paris and managed by France.18 This compulsory deposit, which was as high as 100 percent at the beginning of the CFA franc system, was reduced to 65 percent in 1973 and again to 50 percent in 2005.19
Third, the principle of unlimited convertibility means that the CFA franc can be converted into French currency without restriction. On paper, any country in the CFA franc system would be able to obtain loans from France denominated in francs or euros in the advent that they lack certain foreign reserves.20 France makes sure that the three central banks always have enough foreign reserves to maintain their foreign trade. However, France does not set aside any of its annual budgets to bolster the foreign reserves of the three central banks or to give loans to these countries as the French treasury is a member of the European system of central banks and therefore independent of the government.21
Finally, the principle of free transfer of capital means that income transfers and capital movements are free.22 They are not restricted by the type of currency of the CFA, and they can move freely between CFA member countries and France. Income transfers mainly include remittances from foreign workers and the repatriation of profits and dividends, while capital movements mainly refer to the purchase of securities or financial investments.23 As the CFA franc is limited to the coverage of the three central banks, it is not convertible to other international currencies and has a low monetary value. Only French capital has direct access to invest in the country, all other capital has to first convert their euros into CFA francs. All capital flights must pass by France to then be able to freely flow into the international market.
The essence of the CFA franc system can be understood as a French tool for the control of the external economic relations between its former colonies and the outside world. France thus shapes, with the help of these four principles and the operating account, the imports and exports of the member countries of the franc zone to limit the influx of foreign capital from other countries and help its bourgeoisie monopolize these regions. For example, when a member country receives foreign currency through the export of raw materials, it must transfer half of the foreign currency received to the central bank of its region within a set period and convert it into French currency.24 Similarly, when foreign capital wishes to enter the countries of the CFA franc zone, it will need to be converted into CFA francs in the Paris foreign exchange market. The consequence is that, under the control of the French Ministry of Finance and the central banks, the member countries of the CFA system do not have the right to keep the full amount of their foreign currency and cannot decide how to use it. CFA franc countries do not enjoy an independent monetary policy as the currency as the policy of a fixed parity rate between the eurozone, and the CFA franc is the chosen policy of the French government. This keeps these African countries from being able to finance freely domestically as it would upset the fixed parity rate because companies that would receive credit and invest productively would purchase foreign equipment due to their incomplete industrialization.25 By keeping the exclusive right of the guarantor of the system and middleman between its former African colonies and the world, France robs these countries of economic independence while bolstering the strength of its economy.
- Functions of the CFA Franc System
- The Functions of Dependency and the Export of Commodities after the Second World War
Although the rate of exchange should be fixed, France manipulated the exchange rate three times throughout the history of the CFA franc system. Far from being a gesture to stabilize the economies of the CFA franc countries, the decision was made in the structural interests of the French economy.
The exchange rate between the CFA franc and the French currency has been determined unilaterally by the French government since the birth of the Bretton Woods system in 1945, when the exchange rate between the French franc and the U.S. dollar was established based on which the ratio between the CFA franc and the French franc was set at 1 to 1.7.26 The first exchange rate change took place in 1948, when the French government, facing a fragile economy far from recovered from the war, decided to devalue the French franc by 44 precent while maintaining an exchange rate between the two currencies of one CFA franc to two French francs. In other words, the CFA franc was now twice the value of the French franc, which made French manufactured goods cheaper and export considerably less competitive than other Global South countries.27 The relationship of dependency between the colonies and France was thus greatly expanded from the war period when the CFA franc countries diversified their trade relations and reduced by more than half their imports from France and their exports from about one quarter. As a whole, France increased its exports between 1947 and 1948 from 85 million to 94 million while its import decreased from 107 million to 103 million.28 The share of French exports to West Africa increased from 59 percent in 1938 to 69 percent in 1949, while its imports remained practically unchanged.30 As the data shows, France was able to increase its exports to the CFA franc countries while keeping its import at the same rate. The consequence of this first change in the exchange rate is the lowering of the export capabilities of the CFA franc countries in favor of expanding imports from the metropole, thus positioning West Africa as an exclusive market for French manufactured goods and thereby putting pressure on African petty commodity production. In this period of French economic reconstruction, the export of commodities regains its importance and became the primary function of the CFA franc.
2. The Function of Income Deflation in the Rising Tide of Inflation
The second change took place in 1960, when, as a result of the Algerian War of 1958, the change of government at home, and the involvement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), France wanted to increase its purchasing power without causing economic contractions, and established a new franc worth one hundred times the value of the old one.31 The exchange rate between the CFA franc and the new franc then became 1 CFA franc to 0.02 francs. This change again benefited France, which had just recovered from the Second World War and was in urgent need of raw materials for its industrial development. It became very cheap for France to buy industrial and military raw materials from the newly independent countries of the CFA franc zone without having to draw on its foreign exchange reserves. For the member countries of the franc zone, this meant not only an increase in the cost of living, but also an increase in the value of their external debt, which harmed their fragile, externally oriented dependent economies.32 France could then buy much more from these countries, but these countries could buy much less from France. France could then produce all its industrial goods at a lesser price of production, and therefore compete with U.S. and German industrial might. However, the newly independent countries were paid much less for the raw materials they sold to France, hindering their industrialization process. Cheapening the inputs of production became the function of the CFA franc, thereby increasing the profit rate of the French economy and helping its capitalists be more competitive on the world market.
The most recent change took place, when the countries of the CFA franc zone were in the grip of a debt crisis in the 1990s, in the aftermath of the oil crisis of the ’70s and ’80s. African countries in the CFA franc zone, like most of the Global South, were favored in the 1970s by the rampant liquidity expansion created by the new petrodollar. U.S. banks had to lend money with very low interest rates to the Global South countries, which used this opportunity to embark on the road to industrialization. The Volcker Shock of the United States—which restricted the supply of money to increase the rate of inflation, an attempt to save the value of the U.S. dollar—made the debt of most poor countries unserviceable.33 France, also suffering from worldwide inflation, did not provide any financial support for the member of the CFA franc zone and gave up on its promise of being the guarantor of the CFA franc. It chose the path of the IMF structural adjustment policy for the CFA franc zone and chose to devalue the CFA franc by 50 percent, resulting in 1 CFA franc valuing 0.01 francs in 1994. For example, Senegal fell into the debt trap around 1975, when, having heavily borrowed cheap money, was caught by the ballooning value of the U.S. dollar and could not pay it back.34 Senegal, like most other sub-Saharan countries, had to endure structural adjustment policies in 1983, while the amount of its debt to service peaked in 1988 at 6.3 percent of its gross national income.35 This brought positive consequences for France, butnegative ones for its former colonies. It doubled the financial ability of France to acquire goods from the CFA franc zone at half price.36 Meanwhile, the CFA franc zone countries had to import their agricultural, industrial, and consumer goods, and the price doubled, leading to a collapse of household purchasing power.37 As a result of France’s financial manipulations, both the state and the working population of the CFA franc countries suffered a great diminution of income. The CFA franc was thus used as a mechanism for imposing income deflation on the French periphery. As Utsa Patnaik and Prabhat Patnaik argued, income deflation is one of the primary mechanisms of imperialism imposed on the productive structure of the Global South, by which the effects of the increasing price can be offset to increase the profit rate of capital in the Global North.38
Far from being the guarantor of stability in CFA franc zone countries, France uses this system as a guarantee of French interests at the expense of francophone Africa.39 The historical function of the CFA franc must be understood considering the conditions of the French economy.
3. The Function of the Division of Labor
In the face of the new international political and economic environment from the 1970s onward, France intended to use the CFA franc system to perpetuate and consolidate the center-periphery model, the pillar of French imperialism.40Imperialism is the culmination of the struggle in the division of labor, taking the specific form of a struggle between nations.41 The construction of the CFA franc system was a way for France to crystalize a particular division of labor between its former colonies, the periphery, and itself, the center, to acquire surplus value and remain competitive against other imperialist countries.
Historically, France used the CFA franc system so that the prices of its imports and exports with the countries of the CFA franc zone and itself were not regulated by the international market, but were determined by the French government during the colonial period. This made it possible for France to purchase raw materials from the countries of the CFA franc zone at prices far below those of the international market by making these countries overproduce raw materials and forcing them to buy finished French products at prices of 20—30 percent higher than those of the international market.42 The function of creating market dependency on France after the Second World War made it so the price of raw materials for French capitalists rose due to the rising price of the CFA franc compared to the franc; meanwhile, the selling price of the French manufactured goods became cheaper in French-occupied Africa. This function became important again in the ’60s, as monopoly capitalism in France became solidified after its partial destruction. The goal of this period was to increase the profit rate of French capital, which could be achieved by creating income deflation in the countries responsible for producing the inputs of French production. In this way, France could compete against the industrial production of more productive economies like Germany and Japan, but could also compensate its global trade deficit.43 It also creates a propensity for CFA franc countries to import more than they export, because of the fact that the CFA franc was pegged to a much more powerful euro, in turn hurting the competitiveness of their exports and local producers and promoting the imports of foreign manufactured goods.44 More importantly, the CFA franc system is made so trade between countries does not need the U.S. dollar. Idn this way, it provides France a barrier between her imperialism and the U.S.-dominated world system. The franc zone thus allowed French imperialism, based on a center-periphery model, to be maintained, while also providing France with the leverage to counteract the dollar and retain an independent political and economic position without having to operate entirely within the framework of U.S. imperialism.45
One of the major aims of the CFA system is to create dependence between France and its former colonies and maintain the accumulation of surplus value. This, in effect, blocks the industrialization process of CFA franc countries. The monetary system deprives the French-speaking African countries of their monetary rights, meaning that the member states are unable to finance their development by creating credit.46 It also restricts the right of its members to freely dispose of foreign currency, preventing them from relying on export earnings for the original accumulation of capital used for industrialization. It makes “stability” the first principle of the CFA system—that is, maintaining a fixed exchange rate between the CFA franc and the euro and keeping annual inflation rate at a very low level, without concern for the economic development of the countries of the franc zone, where money creation plays a big part of the developmental state model of development.47 This creates a situation where the foreign exchange reserves of these African countries are between 95 percent and 105 percent, revealing a high capacity to import and invest productively while being kept on the leash of underinvestment by the policies of the CFA franc.48
4. The Function of Debt and Capital Flow
It is in this function—debt, and lending—that the essence of the CFA franc is reflected in purer tones, without necessarily being the dominant appearance at most times. This function is where money directly seems to multiply itself, appearing as M—M¢.
France is an important bilateral creditor in Africa, ahead of all European Union countries, while the United States (historically) and China (recently) being the most important in the world.49 A large part of the CFA franc countries’ debt is not held by China but by France. If we account for both French bilateral debt, which sits at U.S. $1.125 trillion, plus private-sector debt, $443.1 million, versus $1.343 trillion for the bilateral Chinese debt.50 When looking at the debt data from the CFA franc countries, France is sometimes either the main holder of the debt or not very far behind the leading debt holders. This is explained by the privileged position France holds as the guarantor of the CFA franc, as the risk of an aggravation of foreign debt because of devaluation is eliminated, since the CFA is pegged to the euro.51 Historically, France contributed immensely to the debt-trap situation these countries are in because of the devaluation of the CFA franc, last having occurred in 1994, which made the total amount of the debt owed by these countries to foreign lenders multiply as the value of their currency fell.52 As domestic credit lending is severely discouraged by the policies of the central banks, CFA franc countries have no other choice but to finance their spending with foreign lenders.53 In this way, debt servicing is actively forced by France on the CFA franc countries, thereby increasing the amount of surplus value obtained by banking capital, M—M¢ in its pure form.
As a superstructure tied to banking capital, the CFA franc system is not only able to serve its primary purpose of increasing its value by siphoning off the productive sector of the economy, but in the monopoly stage of capitalism, this superstructure actively works in concert with other forms of French capital in Africa. This takes the form of tying up debt, aid, and investment. Funds acquired by CFA franc countries to promote some limited development in infrastructure through debt reduction-development contracts or directly as part of bilateral loan deals are given to French transnational corporations. This permits French industrial capital to monopolize the African market against local and other foreign competitors.54 As is generally the case, capital tends to move from underdeveloped financial markets to developed ones.55 The CFA franc superstructure is one of the main pieces that the French bourgeoisie use to set in motion a flow of capital in its direction. Between 1970 and 2008, this amounted to $850 billion, which prevented the countries of the franc zone from accumulating enough capital to develop their economies through savings and investments, which then had to rely on external debt.56 It is then important to understand that external debt is in fact a means of fueling capital outflows. Studies have shown that between 47 percent and 62 percent of the funds entering the CFA franc system in the form of external debt are repatriated to creditor countries in the form of capital outflows.57 For every dollar that enters Africa in the form of foreign debt, there is a capital outflow of 60 cents.58 For the productive capital of France, the entry of new competitors in Africa made the banking infrastructure of the CFA franc extremely important to fight the downward trajectories of their market shares, which fell from 10.1 percent in 1990 to 4.7 percent in 2011.59 Finally, the African comprador elite also contributes to this capital flow, as they tend to accumulate foreign assets to anchor their power outside of any local political competitors and place their interests in the same basket as their imperial overlord.60 This guarantees the comprador class the help of French military power in case of any threat.61 The alliance between the French bourgeoisie and the African comprador bourgeoisie must then be understood as the anchor that keeps these countries in a profound capitalist logic and prevents them from embarking on a road of developmental capitalism and socialism.62
The CFA franc system should therefore be understood as an essence, differentiated by four main manifestations. As an essence, it is a superstructural outgrowth of banking capital, born during colonial times to siphon off value by credit. In the monopoly stage of capitalism, however, where banking and production tend to unite into finance, the banking superstructure becomes a conduit for the reproduction of both banking and productive capital. Therefore, its appearances are the four main functions I analyzed above and indicate that the changes in the economic level, as well as the consolidation of banking and production transformed the CFA franc into a tool of the whole French bourgeoisie to facilitate in multiple ways the expansion of production by creating direct and indirect mechanisms for the increase of surplus value.
This article analyzes the history and the role of the CFA franc system in Africa as a structure of its still surviving colonial empire in Africa. We show that the CFA franc system constitutes a unique kind of imperialism used by France to keep its status as a hegemonic power in a U.S.-dominated world system. This unique kind of imperialism is itself determined by the historical dominance of French banking capital and its modern evolution into financial capital.
In the stage of imperialism in which the financial branch of the bourgeoisie obtains complete dominance over the French state, surplus value is obtained less by increasing the productive capacity of its economy because of the rising organic composition of capital, but rather by capturing the surplus value by purely financial relations and creditor and debtor. The CFA franc system was put in place as a tool to maintain both the dwindling postwar industrial capacities of France in its competition against more productive capitalist economies, and to siphon value from its former colonies. As far as industrial capital, the CFA system supplies the French economy with cheap raw materials for the production of consumer, industrial, and military goods, but it also provides industrial capital a market where they are the sole monopoly and can sell goods at prices above those of the world market. For banking capital, the CFA franc system allows total control of the flow of capital in these regions and manipulation of the exchange rates in order to control French inflation by constraining the demand in the CFA franc zone countries. The CFA franc has become a tool for the entire bourgeois state and the financial bourgeoisie.
 Fanny Pigeaud, Ndongo Samba Sylla, and William Mitchell, Africa’s Last Colonial Currency: The CFA Franc Story, (London: Pluto, 2021), 20.
 Michael T Hadjimichael and Michel Galy, “The CFA Franc Zone and the EMU” (working paper, African Department, International Monetary Fund, 1997), 7.
 Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 1 (London: Penguin Classics, 1992), 874.
 Richard J. Reid, A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present (Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell, 2019), 151.
 Angus Maddison, Monitoring the World Economy 1820—1992, (Washington, D.C.: Development Centre Studies, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 1995), 65.
 Serfati, “Imperialism in Context,” 59; V. I. Lenin, Imperialism: Highest Stage of Capitalism (New York: Dover, 1987), 73.
 H. R. Tate, “The French Colonial Empire,” Journal of the Royal African Society 39, no. 157 (1940): 322—30; Dauda Yillah, “The Predatory Economics of Imperialism and Neo-Imperialism: Some Post-War Metropolitan French Intellectual Perspectives,” Forum for Modern Language Studies 53, no. 4 (2017): 484.
 Lenin, Imperialism, 114.
 Serfati, “Imperialism in Context,” 69—70.
 Pigeaud, Sylla, and Mitchell, Africa’s Last Colonial Currency, 11.
 Ndongo Samba Sylla, “Fighting Monetary Colonialism in Francophone Africa: Samir Amin’s Contribution,” Review of African Political Economy 48, no. 167 (2021): 32—49.
 Serfati, “Imperialism in Context,” 73.
 ASSANVO K. M. Newson Mian., “Démocratie Africaine et Impéria- Lisme Occidental (1ère Partie) : Crise de La Démocratie En Afrique,” Rev Iv Hist., no. 19 (2011): 73—75.; Jeanny Lorgeoux and Jean Marie Bockel, L’Afrique Est Notre Avenir (rapport d’information no. 104, session ordinaire de sénat 2013—14, Paris, 2013), 237.
 Pigeaud, Sylla, and Mitchell, Africa’s Last Colonial Currency, 21.
 Anne Marie Gulde and Charalambos Tsangarides, “The CFA Franc Zone: Common Currency, Uncommon Challenges” (International Monetary Fund, 2008).
 “The CFA Franc: French Monetary Imperialism in Africa,” London School of Economics (blog), July 12, 2017.
 Kai Koddenbrock and Ndongo Samba Sylla, “Towards a Political Economy of Monetary Dependency: The Case of the CFA Franc in West Africa” (MaxPo Discussion Paper, no. 19/2, Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies, Paris, 2019), 10.
 République Française, “Loi no. 2017—1837 du 30 décembre 2017 de finances pour 2018 (1)”, 2017—1837 § (2017).
 Koddenbrock and Sylla, “Towards a Political Economy of Monetary Dependency,” 10.
 Pigeaud, Sylla, and Mitchell, Africa’s Last Colonial Currency, 21.
 International Monetary, “West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU): Common Policies for Member Countries—Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the WAEMU,” International Monetary Fund, Country Reports 2018/106 (Washington, D. C.: International Monetary Fund, 2018), 34.
 Pigeaud, Sylla, and Mitchell, Africa’s Last Colonial Currency, 33—34.
 Pigeaud, Sylla, and Mitchell, 12.
 Pigeaud, Sylla, and Mitchell, 13—14.
 Rémi Godeau, Le franc CFA: pourquoi la dévaluation de 1994 a tout changé (Saint-Maur France: Editions Sépia, 1995), 35.
 Here, the value of the U.S. dollar in 1939 is used. United Nations Department of Economics Affairs, World Economic Report 1948 (Lake Success, NY: United Nations, 1949), 156.
 K. E. R., “Economic Development in French West Africa,” World Today 6, no. 12 (1950): 538.
 Olivier Feiertag and Jean-Noël Jeanneney, Wilfrid Baumgartner: Un grand commis des finances à la croisée des pouvoirs (Paris: Institut de la gestion publique et du développement économique, 2013), 555—96.
 Pigeaud, Sylla, and Mitchell, Africa’s Last Colonial Currency, 67.
 Radhika Desai, Capitalism, Coronavirus and War: A Geopolitical Economy (London: Routledge, 2022), 94—96.
 Sheldon Gellar, Senegal: An African Nation Between Islam and the West, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Westview, 1995), 63—64.
 Stephen R. Weissman, “Structural Adjustment in Africa: Insights from the Experiences of Ghana and Senegal,” World Development 18, no. 12 (990): 1624; “Total Debt Service (percent of GNI)—Senegal,” World Bank 2021.
 Bruno Coquet and Jean-Marc Daniel, “Perspective Historique,” Politique Africaine, no. 54 (1994): 11—18.
 Pigeaud, Sylla, and Mitchell, Africa’s Last Colonial Currency, 66—67.
 Utsa Patnaik and Prabhat Patnaik, Capital and Imperialism: Theory, History, and the Present (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2021), 78—80.
 François-Xavier Verschave, De la Françafrique à la Mafiafrique, 1st ed. (France: Tribord, 2005), 10.
 Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 2011), 13—14.
 Domenico Losurdo, Class Struggle (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 14.
 Federico Tadei, “Measuring Extractive Institutions: Colonial Trade and Price Gaps in French Africa,” European Review of Economic History 24, no. 1 (202): 1—23; Alexander J. Yeats, “Do African Countries Pay More for Imports? Yes,” World Bank Economic Review 4, no. 1 (1990): 1—20.
 Serfati, “Imperialism in Context,” 72.
 Rémy Herrera, “À qui profite le franc CFA?,” AfriqueXXI, June 3, 2022.
 Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch, The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy Of American Empire (London: Verso, 2013).
 Sebastian Dullien, “Central Banking, Financial Institutions and Credit Creation in Developing Countries” (discussion paper no. 193, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva, 2009.
 “The CFA Franc,” 2.
 Herrera, “À Qui Profite Le Franc CFA?”
 “Leading Bilateral Creditors to African Economies in 2019,” March 2021, statista.com.
 Prêts pour l’Afrique d’aujourd’hui? (Paris: Institut Montaigne, 2017), 98.
 Pigeaud, Sylla, and Mitchell, Africa’s Last Colonial Currency, 88.
 Herrera, “À Qui Profite Le Franc CFA?”
 Pigeaud, Sylla, and Mitchell, Africa’s Last Colonial Currency, 89.
 Jean-Marie Gankou Fowagap, Marius Bendoma, and Moussé Ndoye Sow, “The Institutional Environment and the Link Between Capital Flows and Capital Flight in Cameroon,” African Development Review 28, S1 (2016): 65—87; “Entre 47% et 62% de chaque franc CFA qui entre sous forme de dette extérieure au Cameroun est rapatrié sous forme de fuite de capitaux,” Investir au Cameroun, January 7, 2019.
 Léonce Ndikumana and James K. Boyce, La dette odieuse de l’Afrique: Comment l’endettement et la fuite des capitaux ont saigné un continent (Dakar: Amalion Publishing, 2013), 90—91.
 Pigeaud, Sylla, and Mitchell, Africa’s Last Colonial Currency, 91.
 Janvier D. Nkurunziza, “Capital Flight and Poverty Reduction in Africa,” in Capital Flight from Africa: Causes, Effects, and Policy Issues, ed. S. Ibi Ajayi and Léonce Ndikumana (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 81—110.
 Assanvo, “Démocratie Africaine et Impérialisme Occidental.”
 Francisco J. Pérez, “An Enduring Neocolonial Alliance: A History of the CFA Franc,” American Journal of Economics and Sociology 81, no. 5 (2022): 851—87.