By: DC KWAME KWAKYE
Mali’s new leadership led by interim President Colonel Assimi Goita has just cancelled all colonial agreements with the former colonial master, France.
After independence, 14 French-speaking countries signed 11 agreements with France which are as follows :
THE COLONIAL DEBT TO REPAY THE BENEFITS OF COLONIZATION.
That is to say that the newly independent states must reimburse the cost of the infrastructures built by France during the colonization.
We are always looking for the details of the costs, the evaluation of the benefits and the payment conditions imposed by France on African countries.
AGREEMENT N⁰ 2 :
THE AUTOMATIC CONFISCATION OF NATIONAL FINANCIAL RESERVES.
That is to say that African countries must deposit their financial reserves with the Banque de France. Thus, France has been “guarding” the financial reserves of fourteen African countries since 1961: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
Thus, the governance of monetary policies remains asynchronous and incomplete due to the fact that it is managed directly by the French government, without any link with the financial authorities of countries such as ECOWAS or CEMAC.
Thus, due to the conditions that bind the banks of the 14 countries of the CFA economic and financial zones, they are obliged to keep 65% of their foreign exchange reserves in an operations account maintained by the French Treasury, as well as an additional 20% in order to cover “financial risks”.
In addition, the banks of the CFA zones impose a credit limit on each member country, equivalent to 20% of state revenues in the current budget year, although the BEAC or the BCEAO have higher withdrawal possibilities from the French Treasury. These withdrawals must first be the subject of the agreement of the French Treasury.
The final decision, therefore, rests with the French Treasury, which has itself invested the reserves of African countries on the Paris stock exchange.
In other words, 85% of African financial reserves are deposited in an operation account controlled by the French administration.
The two banks in the CFA zone are African by their names but do not decide any of the monetary policies by themselves.
The worst thing is that the countries themselves do not even know how much of their financial reserves are due to them.
AGREEMENT n⁰3 :
THE RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL ON ANY RAW OR NATURAL RESOURCE DISCOVERED IN THE COUNTRY.
That is to say that France has the first right to purchase the natural resources of the land of its former colonies. It is only after France has said: “I am not interested”, that African countries are allowed to look for other partners.
AGREEMENT n⁰4 :
PRIORITY TO FRENCH INTERESTS AND COMPANIES IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AND PUBLIC TENDERS.
In the awarding of public contracts, French companies have priority over tenders. Even if African countries can get better value for money elsewhere.
As a result, in most of the former French colonies, all the economic levers of the countries are in the hands of French expatriates. In Côte d’Ivoire, for example, French companies own and control all major public services including water, electricity, telephone, air transport, ports and major banks. It is the same in trade, construction and agriculture.
AGREEMENT n⁰5 :
EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO PROVIDE MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND TRAIN MILITARY OFFICERS OF THE COLONIES.
Thanks to a sophisticated system of scholarships, grants, and the “defense agreements” attached to the colonial pact, Africans must send their senior officers for training in France and are obliged to provide themselves with military equipment with France.
AGREEMENT n⁰6 :
THE RIGHT FOR FRANCE TO DEPLOY TROOPS AND INTERVENE MILITARILY IN THE COUNTRY TO DEFEND ITS INTERESTS.
Under the so-called “defence agreements” attached to the colonial pact, France has the right to intervene militarily in African countries, and also to permanently station troops in military bases and installations, entirely managed by the French.
AGREEMENT n⁰7 :
THE OBLIGATION TO MAKE FRENCH THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF THE COUNTRY AND THE LANGUAGE FOR EDUCATION.
An organization for the French language and the dissemination of French culture has even been created. It is called the “Francophonie” and has several satellite organizations. These organizations are affiliated to and controlled by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs.
AGREEMENT n⁰8 :
THE OBLIGATION TO USE THE CFA FRANC (FRANC OF THE FRENCH COLONIES IN AFRICA).
Although this system is not shared by the European Union, the French colonies are forced to use the FCFA exclusively.
AGREEMENT n⁰9 :
THE OBLIGATION TO SEND TO FRANCE, AN ANNUAL BALANCE SHEET AND A REPORT ON THE STATE OF RESERVES. NO REPORT, NO MONEY.
That is to say that the director of the central banks of the former colonies presents the said report at the annual meetings of the Ministers of Finance on the former colonies. This report is then compiled by the Banque de France and the French Treasury.
AGREEMENT n⁰10 :
RENOUNCE ANY MILITARY ALLIANCE WITH OTHER COUNTRIES, UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY FRANCE.
Most of these countries only have military alliances with their ex-colonizers simply because France forbade them any other military alliance.
AGREEMENT n⁰11 :
THE OBLIGATION TO ALLY WITH FRANCE IN THE EVENT OF WAR OR A GLOBAL CRISIS.
More than a million African soldiers fought for the defeat of Nazism and fascism during the Second World War. Now that France is militarily linked to the European Union, NATO and the United States, Africa will de facto be committed to the side of France in the event of the 3rd World War.
Eleven (11) agreements are still in force between France and the 14 countries of the CFA zone, and no French media or their so-called African specialists will ever talk about these sinister agreements that have been imposed on the African countries of the CFA zone. This is why we should not stop denouncing this colonization which has now been practiced since 1960, by interposed persons, that is to say by leaders of their choices whom they support and whom they protect by imposing dictatorship on them in front of their own peoples.
What interests us today among these eleven agreements is the tenth (n⁰ 10) which says that the 14 countries of the CFA zone through the agreement, are not authorized to have a military alliance with other countries and are also not authorized to buy military equipment in another European country without the authorization of France, that is why Mali has been blocked until today. But the situation has been unblocked, Mali can now freely cooperate with all the planet’s countries without asking France for permission.