The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper takes stock of the achievements toward integration in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) 10 years after the 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc. It investigates the lessons learned and evaluates progress toward economic convergence, examines the evolution of trade and competitiveness, and points to ways to remove impediments to greater integration. The paper concludes that a continued political commitment will be needed to overcome the important dissimilarities between WAEMU member countries that have limited the degree of convergence achieved to date, and to advance toward a full-fledged economic union.