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Money in Africa - Monetary and financial decolonisation in Africa in the 20th Century

09 Oct. 2017 to 10 Oct. 2017
Day 1: 13:30 / Day 2: 09:00

eabh in cooperation with Banco de Portugal and Banque de France.

Monetary and fiscal processes are important elements in state building and in managing international economic relations for emerging economies and new states. These processes were also important during the transition to constitutional independence in Africa; however little attention has been paid to the trajectory of the monetary and fiscal processes of decolonisation in Africa. The topic is less researched than the political or socio-cultural decolonisation processes. However, it has had important implications for the economic development of these states.

The objective of this conference is to shed light on a range of different historical cross-experiences. It will provide a comparative analysis of the Portuguese, French, British, Belgian, Spanish, Italian and German cases of colonial transition in monetary and financial matters.

Academic Committee 

Francois de Coustin (Banque de France), Olivier Feiertag (University of Rouen-Normandy), Nuno Valério (Universidade de Lisboa), Carmen Hofmann (eabh), Maria João Azevedo (Banco de Portugal).



09 October


Welcome coffee


Carlos da Silva Costa (Governor - Banco de Portugal)
Carmen Hofmann (Secretary General - eabh)


Keynote speech: Lessons from the monetary decolonisation of the British Empire
Catherine Schenk (University of Oxford)


The history of the monetary decolonisation: a bird’s eye view
Olivier Feiertag (Normandy University)


First Session: Facing the course of history: national experiences of colonial monetary zones

Moderator: Maria João Azevedo (Banco de Portugal)

The Banque de France and the creation of the Franc Zone (1944-1952). Continuation of the colonial pact or turning point of monetary decolonisation?
François de Coustin (Banque de France)

The escudo area in Africa and optimum currency areas
Maria Eugénia Mata (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Banque du Congo Belge to Belgolaise: the evolution to its demise of a colonial bank
Adrian E. Tschoegl (The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)


Coffee Break


Second Session: Ruptures and continuities: monetary transition from colonial to post-colonial times

Moderator: Carmen Hofmann (eabh)

Africanising and decolonizing a central bank: the case of Banque Centrale des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO)
Vincent Duchaussoy (Normandy University)

Monetary transition in Cabo Verde: from the escudo zone to the exchange agreement with Portugal
João Estêvão (Universidade de Lisboa)

Gaining a foothold in a decolonising Africa. One Italian investment bank’s approach to a changing continent: the case of Mediobanca
Taddeo Molino Lova (Mediobanca)


Dinner at Pousada de Lisboa, Praça do Comércio, 31, Lisboa

10 October


Third Session: Managing monetary sovereignty after independence

Moderator: Nuno Valério (Universidade de Lisboa)

Monetary transition in the Portuguese-speaking African countries: the case of Mozambique, 1961 to present time
Napoleão Gaspar and José Cláudio Mandlate (Universidade Eduardo Mondlane)

Compte d’operation and its effects on the economy of the l’Union Monetaire Ouest Africaine (UMOA)
Toyomu Masaki (Kanazawa University)

Nigeria, British economic interests ant the sterling guarantee agreement
Chibuike Uche (University of Nigeria and Leiden University)

The exit of the overseas banks from South Africa
Piet Geljon (independent historian)


Coffee break


Round table: Monetary policy in Africa today: between sovereignty and international cooperation

Moderator: Olivier Feiertag (Normandy University)

With the participation of:
-Abdellatif Jouahri, Governor of Bank Al Maghrib
-Carlos da Silva Costa, Governor of Banco de Portugal
-Louncény Nabé, Governor of the Central Bank of the Republic of Guinea
-Rogério Zandamela, Governor of Banco de Moçambique
-Bernard J. Walley, Research Department, Bank of Ghana


What we learned (or not) from the process of monetary decolonisation in Africa
Nuno Valerio (Universidade de Lisboa)