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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy.

Mr. Alexei P Kireyev


The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) has a long and varied history, and this book examines how the WAEMU can achieve its development and stability objectives, improve the livelihood of its people, and enhance the inclusiveness of its economic growth, all while preserving its financial stability, enhancing its competitiveness, and maintaining its current fixed exchange rates.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper analyzes how increasing population will impact the lives of people in the world in 2000. It underscores that in 2000, there will be more people, many living in crowded towns, suffering from even greater difficulties of transport and urban sprawl, both upward and outward. The provision of satisfactory housing for the mass of the population will be difficult, because, without subsidy, its construction would demand rentals equal at least to the occupant’s annual income, while to subsidize so many tenants would be impossible.

Patrick A. Imam and Ms. Christina Kolerus
The financial system in the WAEMU remains largely bank-based. The banking sector comprises 106 banks and 13 financial institutions, which together hold more than 90 percent of the financial system’s assets (about 54 percent of GDP at end-2011). Five banks account for 50 percent of banking assets. The ownership structure of the sector is changing fast, with the rapid rise of foreign-owned (pan-African) banks. This contributes to higher competition but also rising heterogeneity in the banking system, with large and profitable cross-country groups competing with often weaker country-based (and sometime government-owned) banks. Nonbank financial institutions are developing quickly, notably insurance companies, but remain overall small. This paper presents a detailed analysis of the banking system.