Last week, During 5 days, I have UNsuccessfully tried to do a bank transfer from Togo to China in order to buy few materials we need to build housing prototype for people living in rural areas.
The French institution which manages the currency for its colonies in Africa (BCEAO) has set tons of red tape to restrict the transfer of foreign currency like Euros, Dollars outside of the CFA zone (CFA is the french colonial currency used by 14 african countries).
The initial amount was little as 3 140 dollars. It was impossible. Then we have downgraded the order to half, which means 1570 dollars. It was still impossible.
I asked the bank manager why there are so many restrictions and red tapes. Official answer “to avoid illegal transfer of currency abroad”.
Of cource not. The real reason is that France automatically seizes all foreign currency earned by 14 african countries, which are obliged to keep at least 65% of its foreign exchange reserves in an “operations account” held at the French Treasury, as well as another 20% to cover financial liabilities, which means 85% of their foreign reserve.
As you can easily understand from the above, It’s not in the interest of France that the foreign currency in deposit in our banks got spent. NO, no, no! They don’t like that. The more foreign reserve left unspent, the more the French treasury got at the end of the year.
That’s the real reason of all the red tapes.
In the so called “Francophone” countries, merchants have to travel will cash to China and Dubai to make their purchase. I’ve always wondered why our merchants have to travel physically every time themselves to buy stuff abroad?
Now, I know. The trip is a mode of money transfer to the sellers.
Recently some people were attacked with 3 billions CFA in cash at the airport in Lomé.
Indeed, the illegal and dark Forex market is the biggest in the world. It’s really huge!
The red tape is not limited to banks, but also to western union transfers, and credit card spendings. .
After 5 days of unsuccessful trials and anger, we have asked a friend in the United States to make the payment on our behalf. It took him about 15 minutes to complete the operation.
After I have posted my comment on Facebook, A Nigerian friend asked “Why are they still playing?”
To which I replied, “Do you see all the warships at the coast of West Africa?
If you don’t pay, you’ll be labeled a Dictator and soon the West will send you democracy fighters to wipe your ass!”
He then commented “I get that, but countries like China and Brazil got out despite these…”
To which I replied “You are right. but to achieve that you have to learn from those who succeeded, and also organize effectively.
Unfortunately, our local elite is all inside the freemason lodges and secret societies which feed them crumbles and control them.
I don’t know where hope will come from! really not!”
A Togolese friend in the Diaspora advised me “Bro you can’t, go to Ghana or Nigeria, it take only 24 hr for the Money to Reach North America”
To which I replied “I know few people who are already doing that. They are moving their bank accounts to Ghana and Nigeria, or South Africa to escape the colonial system.”
I’ll have to follow my friend advise.
Eleven months ago I wrote the article below about the french currency slavery in Africa. Check it out!