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What makes Senegal’s digital currency different

Towards the end of last year, a regional bank for francophone west Africa, Banque Régionale de Marchés (BRM), issued a digital currency in Senegal (which it initially dubbed the eCFA but has since decided to rename). It acts similar to other digital currencies and consumers can interact with it across existing payment platforms, such as electronic and mobile wallets. It is an experiment which authorities are monitoring closely and, if considered successful, it could be rolled out in the eight member countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) to operate alongside the region’s hard currency, the CFA. But what makes it so unique is that, unlike other digital money solutions out there, it could become the region’s digital fiat currency. In other words, it could potentially become legal tender backed by a central bank.

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Senegal: Dakar's Threatened 'Green Lung' Gets Reforestation Boost

Dakar — Pulling away a black plastic pot, a forest guard holds up a short, wispy sapling before dozens of people. He shows the crowd how to hold the tree without damaging it, then places it in a hole lining a forest path and covers the roots with soil before pressing them down gently. Soon all of the crowd are busy planting. "If a tree is cut, one needs to be planted in its place. But people who cut trees in Senegal tend not to replace them as they lack the necessary skills," said Maimouna Seck, one young member of the planting crew, as she wiped away beads of sweat forming on her face. A recent university graduate, she said she learned about the need for reforestation in school, and had come out to "fill the void others have created".

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