Front Matter
  • 1 0000000404811396 Monetary Fund


Following a serious deterioration of the competitive position of the WAEMU region in the 1980s and the eary 1990s, the countries took steps that have led to a significant turnaround in economic activity, a drop in inflation, and increases in output, exports and investment. This study describes policy issues that the region continues to face and suggests how the WAEMU countries can address them.





  • Policy Issues Facing the WAEMU

  • Institutional Framework of the WAEMU


Recent Economic Developments


Main Regional Policy Issues

  • Monetary Policy

  • Banking System

  • Bank Supervision

  • Trade Policy

  • Coordination of Macroeconomic Policies


Other Regional Issues





  • Comparison of Regional Integration: The WAEMU and the European Union


  • The Real Exchange Rate of the WAEMU


  • Determinants of Investment in the WAEMU


  • Background Tables




  • 1. WAEMU: Institutional Framework


  • 2. The CFA Franc, the French Franc, and the Euro

  • 3. WAEMU: New Tariff Structure

  • 4. WAEMU: Convergence Criteria



  • 5. Weights for Calculating the External Real Exchange Rate




  • 1. WAEMU: Selected Economic Indicators

  • 2. International Comparisons: Selected Indicators



  • 3. Investmeni Share, Trade Share, and Index of Economic Freedom in the WAEMU and Other Selected Countries, 1995


  • 4. WAEMU: Output Growth

  • 5. WAEMU: Trade Volume Growth

  • 6. WAEMU: Real Effective Exchange Rates

  • 7. WAEMU: Inflation

  • 8. WAEMU: Fiscal Balances

  • 9. WAEMU: Government Revenue, Excluding Grants

  • 10. WAEMU: Gross Domestic Investment

  • 11. WAEMU: Gross Domestic Saving

  • 12. WAEMU: External Current Account Balance, Excluding Grants

  • 13. WAEMU: Public External Debt

  • 14. WAEMU: Balance of Payments

  • 15. WAEMU Governments’Financial Operations

  • 16. WAEMU: Monetary Survey

  • 17. WAEMU: Summary Accounts of the Central Bank

  • 18. WAEMU: Summary Accounts of the Commercial Banks

  • 19. WAEMU: Indicators of Banking Sector Soundness

  • 20. WAEMU: Convergence Criteria




  • 1. CFA Franc: Real Effective Exchange Rates

  • 2. CFA Franc: Nominal Exchange Rates


  • 3. Money Market Interest Rates

The following symbols have been used throughout this paper:

  • … to indicate that data are not available;

  • n.a. to indicate not applicable;

  • —to indicate that the figure is zero or less than half the final digit shown, or that the item does not exist;

  • –between years or months (e.g., 1994–95 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;

  • / between years (e.g., 1994/95) to indicate a crop or fiscal (financial) year.

“Billion” means a thousand million.

Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding. The term “country,” as used in this paper, does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice; the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states, but for which statistical data are maintained and provided internationally on a separate and independent basis.


An IMF staff team visited Ouagadougou and Dakar during November 11–14, 1997, to hold policy discussions with senior officials of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), the regional Banking Commission, and the Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The WAEMU representatives were headed by Moussa Toure\ president of the commission, and those of the BCEAO by Governor Charles Konan Banny. The discussions focused on a review of recent performance and on key regional economic policy issues, including (1) an examination of the framework for monetary policy, (2) an assessment of the banking sector, (3) the introduction of a common external tariff, and (4) other specific regional issues.

Given the widening range of economic policies that have been formulated and implemented at the regional level since the ratification of the WAEMU treaty in August 1994, and in view of the special characteristics of the CFA franc zone, both IMF staff and country authorities believe that these periodic regional discussions, which are essential to complement bilateral surveillance and monitoring of IMF-supported programs, should be strengthened. Accordingly, as part of a move to a more formal and comprehensive dialogue with the regional institutions of the WAEMU, annual reports on these discussions will be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board.

The authors are grateful to many colleagues in the IMF for helpful comments on previous drafts. They would like to thank Ngoc Lê for her valuable assistance in preparing tables and charts and Marie-Jeanette Ng Choy Hing, Francoise Straver-Postic, and Nadine Dubost for providing very dependable secretarial support. Elisa Diehl of the IMF’s External Relations Department edited the manuscript and coordinated production.

Recent Developments and Policy Issues