Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)A revamped common currency in West Africa known as the ECO will be launched in 2020, according to French President Emmanuel Macron.
France is set to end the use of the 75-year-old controversial CFA franc in West Africa
The ECO is supposed to replace the CFA franc which is currently being used in eight west African countries and six countries in central Africa.
During a trip to Ivory Coast on Saturday, in cooperation with eight West African countries — Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo — Macron announced at a joint news conference with the Ivorian president that France is working towards loosening up the supervision of the currency.
Macron, speaking in Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory Coast, described colonialism as a "grave mistake and a fault of the republic" according to a DW News report.
The move to drop the CFA franc is part of France's plan to rebuild relations with its former African colonies.
"I wanted to engage France in a historic and ambitious reform of cooperation between the West African economic and monetary union and our country. We do it for African youth," Macron wrote on his official Twitter page on Saturday.
Known as "Colonies Francaises d'Afrique" (French colonies in Africa), the CFA franc was established in 1945 and has been tagged as a controversial currency for its control by France.
The currency was initially pegged to the French franc but has been linked to the euro since 1999. A French representative has been on the board of the currency's union.
French colonies have had to store 50% of their foreign currency reserves with France in return for France guaranteeing the currency.