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.
Africa has more countries than any other continent, and hence the largest number of potential monetary and exchange rate arrangements. This paper looks at whether the existing highly fractured monetary arrangements in Sub-Saharan Africa correspond to what might be expected from the theory of optimum currency areas. This is done by analyzing both the size and correlation of real disturbances across countries and the level of intra-regional trade. The results indicate little evidence that Sub-Saharan African countries would benefit in the near future from larger currency unions.