UEMOA economies are projected to grow by 6.6% in 2020
The 2020 economic outlook for the eight UEMOA member countries is positive. Despite the many security challenges, the UEMOA area will continue to grow by 6.6% in 2020, at the same rate as in 2019, more than twice the sub-Saharan African average of 3.2%. The security crisis in the Sahel, Nigeria’s border closure and election-related instability are the main risks which might undermine the Union’s economic prospects. Côte d’Ivoire remains a driving force, with a projected growth rate of 7.3%, mostly because of high cocoa prices. Benin and Senegal are also set to pursue their growth trajectories with GDP annual increases of 7.6% and 6.8% respectively. Moreover, despite falling cotton prices and the security crisis, Burkina Faso’s growth rate is projected to increase from 6% in 2019 to 6.4% in 2020. On the other hand, Mali’s economy continues to be affected by the security crisis. The country has the lowest growth rate in the Union, at 4.9%.The Union’s economic performance capitalises on the increased productivity of the agricultural sector. The secondary sector benefits from infrastructure investments and the tertiary sector from the development of transport, communication and banking services. With respect to inflation, all members respected the community norm, with an average annual inflation rate of -0.7% in 2019, compared to 1.2% in 2018. Moreover, the Union’s total debt ratio decreased from 46.4% in 2018 to 45.7% in 2019. The financial consolidation of UEMOA economies is progressing. With the exception of Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, all other member countries respected the three primary convergence criteria (a public budget deficit of less than 3%; an inflation rate of less than 3%; and a debt burden of less than 70% of national GDP). In 2018, only two countries met these criteria. The Union may achieve financial stability by 2021.