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Mali’s President Accuses France Of Economic Sabotage

MALI’S Transitional President, Assimi Goïta, has accused France of attempting to undermine the country’s administration by printing counterfeit CFA franc notes to destabilise Mali’s economy. In a speech delivered in the Malian city of Sikasso on June 22, Goïta called for the adoption of a new locally produced currency to counter this alleged economic interference.

According to a report in the Russian newspaper Sputnik, President Goïta expressed his suspicions of French interference, revealing that the French are allegedly disrupting Mali’s economy by introducing fake currency into its financial system. He likened this tactic to a similar scheme purportedly used against Guinea in 1960.

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Goïta outlined what he described as ‘three types of terrorism’ facing Mali: armed terrorism, media terrorism (lies and fake news ‘to turn us against each other’), and economic terrorism. He emphasised the detrimental impact of economic terrorism on Mali’s stability.

The president also highlighted Mali’s reliance on Guinea for commerce following ECOWAS sanctions in 2022, which resulted in Malians facing tripled port costs. This economic strain, he argued, underscores the need to move away from the CFA franc, which he described as a colonial currency, and replace it with a locally produced one.

In support of his proposal, Goïta referenced comments made earlier this month by Ahmat Tahir Bakhit, head of the Russian House in Chad, at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum 2024 (SPIEF). Bakhit criticised the CFA franc as an ‘imposed’ currency that stifles Africa’s prosperity.

President Goïta’s accusations and call for a new currency signal a significant shift in Mali’s economic strategy, reflecting broader regional discontent with the CFA franc and a desire for greater economic independence.

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