Afrique : qu’est-ce que l’éco, la possible nouvelle monnaie de 15 pays ?

Afrique : qu’est-ce que l’éco, la possible nouvelle monnaie de 15 pays ?

Les dirigeants de 15 pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest se penchent ce samedi 28 juin sur la création d’une monnaie commune, l’éco. Un symbole fort, mais un pari politique risqué.

Une monnaie commune pour 15 pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest dès 2020 ? Les chefs d’État et de gouvernement de la Communauté économique des États d’Afrique de l’Ouest (Cédéao) se prononcent ce samedi 28 juin sur la création de l’éco, une monnaie qu’ils pourraient partager. Elle remplacerait les huit monnaies qui ont cours actuellement dans la région.

Lors de leur sommet, les chefs d’État et de gouvernement de la Cédéao pourront s’appuyer sur les conclusions de travaux préparatoires adoptées le 18 juin à Abidjan. Cette monnaie est à l’étude depuis une trentaine d’années.

Le nom de la future monnaie, l’éco, a été préféré à afri et kola. La Cédéao a opté pour un “régime de change flexible” par rapport aux monnaies internationales, ce qui signifie que le taux de change évoluerait au gré des marchés, comme l’euro ou le dollars. Autre point commun avec la monnaie unique européenne, la politique monétaire serait centrée sur la maîtrise de l’inflation.

Les États membres de la Communauté économique des États dAfrique de lOuest  Afrique : quest ce que léco, la possible nouvelle monnaie de 15 pays ?

Une mise en œuvre complexe

En vue de la création de l’union monétaire, des critères ont été fixés, appelant à une maîtrise de l’inflation, du déficit budgétaires, etc. comme c’est le cas lorsqu’un pays adopte l’euro. Mais à ce jour, aucun de ses 15 États membres ne respecte ces “critères de convergences” retenus. Ce qui pourrait rendre bien complexe une mise en circulation dès 2020.

Pour 8 des 15 pays concernés, l’éco remplacerait le franc CFA. Cette monnaie, créée au lendemain de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, est indexée à l’euro et garantie par le Trésor français. Ce vestige de la colonisation est décrié par certains, mais garantie une stabilité de la monnaie. Le Nigeria, pays leader de la Cédéao, exige un “plan de divorce” avec la France, où reste déposés la moitié des réserves de change (avoirs en monnaie étrangère ou en or) de ces pays. Un plan encore à négocier.

Des avantages économiques incertains

Pour les touristes, l’adoption d’une monnaie commune est un plus, puisqu’elle permet de voyager dans toute la zone en ne changeant qu’une seule fois. Cela facilite aussi les échanges entre les différents pays.

Pour autant, ce dernier effet pourrait être limité par une zone économique encore très peu intégrées. Les échanges commerciaux intrazone ne sont que de l’ordre de 10%, les travailleurs sont peu mobiles et les infrastructures déficientes. Pour comparaison, la part des exportations des pays de la zone euro en direction de la zone euro était de 67,3 % et la part des importations des pays de la zone euro en provenance de la zone euro s’élevait à 63,4 % selon l’INSEE en 2005.

Une domination nigériane

En outre, la future zone monétaire serait dominée par le Nigeria, pays pétrolier représentant les deux tiers du PIB de la région et la moitié de sa population. La politique monétaire s’alignera probablement sur les besoins de ce pays, qui risquent de ne pas être “synchrones” avec ceux des autres pays, selon Ndongo Samba Sylla, économiste à Dakar de la fondation Rosa Luxembourg.

Un reproche similaire est fait par certains à l’euro, monnaie qu’ils disent alignée sur les besoins de l’Allemagne et des pays du Nord, et dont la force porterait préjudice aux économies du Sud comme la Grèce.

Une monnaie commune enlève aussi aux gouvernements un levier de politique économique, celui de jouer sur les cours de sa monnaie. Incapables de jouer sur les taux d’intérêt ou de dévaluer, ces derniers n’auraient pas d’autres choix en cas de crise économique que de mener des politiques d’austérité. Un risque d’autant plus fort en l’absence de mécanismes de solidarité budgétaire entre pays riches et en crise.



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