Bank of Central African States

Bank of Central African States
Banque des États de l'Afrique Centrale (BEAC) (in French)
Logo of the BEAC
Headquarters of the BEAC
Headquarters of the BEAC
HeadquartersYaoundé, Cameroon
Established1972
GovernorYvon Sana Bangui
Central bank ofEconomic and Monetary Community of Central Africa
CurrencyCentral African CFA franc
XAF (ISO 4217)
Reserves9 790 million USD
Preceded byBanque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique Equatoriale et du Cameroun
Websitewww.beac.int
BEAC is the central bank of the states in red.

The Bank of Central African States (French: Banque des États de l'Afrique Centrale, BEAC) is a central bank that serves six central African countries which form the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo.

History

Background

In 1920, the French government expanded the note-issuance privilege of the Banque de l'Afrique Occidentale to its central African colonies of Congo, Ubangi-Shari, Gabon, Chad, and later Cameroon. This arrangement was disrupted during World War II, as the colonies controlled by Free France became Free French Africa. The Caisse Centrale de la France Libre was established in London in December 1941 to manage the regional currency, and was renamed Caisse centrale de la France d'outre-mer [fr] (CCFOM) in 1944. The region's currency was standardized in late 1945 as the CFA Franc.

In 1955, the French government transferred the CCFOM's monetary role in the colonies of French Equatorial Africa to a new entity, the Institut d'Émission de l'Afrique Équatoriale Française et du Cameroun, which in 1959 was renamed the Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique Équatoriale et du Cameroun (BCEAEC) after it became clear that the colonies would soon become independent nations. The BCEAEC, headquartered in Paris, acted as the new countries' joint central bank throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, similarly as its sister entity the BCEAO for the former colonies of French West Africa.

Establishment and development

On 1972-11-22, the five countries gathered in Brazzaville signed Financial Cooperation Conventions between themselves and with France that formed the basis for their continued use of the CFA Franc, rebranded as standing for "Coopération Financière en Afrique" instead of "Communauté française d'Afrique". Under these agreements, the BEAC was established to succeed the BCEAEC and manage the joint currency, with a convertibility guarantee provided by the French Treasury. On 1973-02-01, the member states met in Fort-Lamy and decided to locate the new institution in Cameroon. The BEAC held its first board meeting on 1973-03-13 and started operations on 1973-04-02. The full transfer of head office activity from Paris to Yaoundé was completed in early 1977.

Equatorial Guinea joined the currency arrangement and BEAC on 1985-01-01.

On 1990-10-16, following similar reform pioneered by the BCEAO earlier the same year, the member states decided to pool their banking supervision and created the Central African Banking Commission (COBAC) for that purpose within the BEAC. On 1992-01-17, a follow-up agreement harmonized banking regulation in the region, paving the way for the effective establishment of the COBAC in January 1993.

The BEAC's statutes were revised in late 1999, and again in 2010,: 6  to grant it greater independence.

Organization and governance

The BEAC has main branches known as National Directorates (French: direction nationale) in the capital or largest city of each of the member states. The BEAC also has branches in Bafoussam and Garoua (Cameroon), Berberati (CAR), Abéché and Moundou (Chad), Ouesso and Pointe-Noire (Congo), Bata (Equatorial Guinea), Franceville, Oyem, and Port-Gentil (Gabon).

As of 2019, the BEAC is governed by a Board of Directors (French: Conseil d'administration). Its highest monetary policy making body is the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC, French: Comité de politique monétaire). The MPC consists of the Governor, two representatives of the French Government, and two representatives from each of the six CEMAC member states, one of which is the BEAC National Director for the country.

Buildings

The buildings of the National Directorates typically dominate the local skyline, respectively inaugurated in Bangui (1979), Libreville (1981), Yaoundé (1982), and N'Djamena (1994). In Malabo, the BEAC took over the former building of the Bank of Equatorial Guinea in July 1985. The BEAC's current head office tower in Yaoundé was inaugurated in 1988. In Paris, the BEAC was located on 29, rue du Colisée, together with the BCEAO, until it moved its representative office to another location in 2007.

Governors

  • Casimir Oyé-Mba (1978–1990)
  • Jean-Félix Mamalepot (1990 – April 2007)
  • Philibert Andzembe (July 2007 – June 2008)
  • Lucas Abaga Nchama [no] (2008–2017)
  • Abbas Mahamat Tolli [fr] (2017 – present)

Christian Joudiou, a French national, was the General Manager (French: directeur général) of the BEAC from 1973 to 1978.

Controversy

Philibert Andzembe of Gabon was Governor of the BEAC from July 2007 until October 2009, when he was fired by the new president of Gabon, Ali Bongo, in response to a bank scandal in which $28.3 million went missing from the bank's Paris branch. In December 2010, a leaked diplomatic cable dated 3 June 2005, said that Gabonese officials working for the Bank of Central African States stole US$36 million over a period of five years from the pooled reserves, giving much of the money to members of France's two main political parties.

See also



This page was last updated at 2024-04-18 10:51 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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