Gabon is part of the Central African Monetary and Economic Union (Communaute Economiquareue et Monetaire de l'Afrique Centrale, or CEMAC), a group of 5 francophone countries that use the same currency, the CFA franc. The CFA franc is tied to the French franc and can be readily exchanged at 50 CFA francs to 1
|Exchange rates: Gabon|
|Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (CFA Fr) per US$1|
|Note: From January 1, 1999, the CFA Fr is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA Fr per euro.|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].|
French franc. Gabon, like all members of the CFA franc communities, has benefitted from this stable currency.
As a member of the CFA zone, Gabon was profoundly affected by the 50 percent devaluation of the CFA franc in 1994. The devaluation caused a temporary rise in inflation . The average annual inflation rate during the period from 1990 to 1996 was 9.8 percent. However, inflation declined through the late 1990s, reaching a rate of 2.9 percent in 1999. The country's economy appears to have benefitted from this devaluation, which made its traditional exports more competitive on world markets. In the short term, however, devaluation lowered living standards and probably increased poverty by raising prices while most salaries remained static.
CEMAC planned to open a regional stock exchange in Libreville, Gabon, in 2001.