Regional Integration

  • Members: 
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    The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) announced that the average UEMOA GDP is expected to grow by 7.1% in 2016. This is less than the growth rate that was forecast during the first two trimesters, but it is slightly above the 2015 growth rate of 7%. The region’s prospects for growth in the medium-term are positive overall, despite consistent security concerns in member countries such as Mali or Niger. Read on
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    West African finance ministers met in Dakar on 15-16 August during the 18th meeting of the joint ECOWAS-UEMOA Committee on the management of the Common External Tariff (CET). The objective of the meeting was to discuss two major concerns: the regional economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union and the implications for the ECOWAS Common External Tariff. Read on
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    As the main component of the ECOWAS Food Storage Strategy, the Regional Food Security Reserve constitutes a third line of response to crises, after local/community-level and national food reserves. Adopted in February 2013 at the ECOWAS Heads of State Conference in Yamoussoukro, the reserve is an important instrument of regional solidarity. Read on
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    The Republic of Benin celebrated its 56th year of Independence on 1 August. The national celebrations offered an opportunity for the newly elected president, Patrice Talon, who has been in power since 6 April 2016, to reaffirm his electoral commitments: institutional reform, economic recovery and an new dynamic overall to boost democracy in the country. President Talon is notably planning to organise a referendum to decide on the introduction of a single presidential mandate in the Constitution. Read on
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    To accelerate their industrialisation in the face of tough global competition, West African countries must leverage their comparative and competitive advantages. Several strategies are available to them. The first is integration into global value chains, by initially developing low added value and labour intensive activities before gradually moving upmarket in the value chain. A second strategy is based on the transformation of local products, such as mango, shea, cashew and textiles. A third strategy is that of regional value chains, which focuses on local production of goods for regional markets. Read on
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    From 7 to 8 June, ECOWAS and the World Bank organised a workshop in Accra as part of the Improved and Facilitated Trade in West Africa project. Representatives of UEMOA and the European Union also took part in the discussions. The workshop revolved around several issues related to the easing of trade in the maid trade corridors in the region, especially those that connect landlocked countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger) to coastal countries (Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana). Read on
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    A native of Pobè in Benin, Marcel Alain de Souza took office as the new President of the ECOWAS Commission on 8 April, succeeding Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo of Burkina Faso. Benin was designated to chair the Commission at the Conference of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on 17 December 2015. Read on
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    On the occasion of African Development Week, held from 31 March to 5 April in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) launched the 2016 edition of the Africa Regional Integration Index (ARII) Report. The index is intended to take stock of progress on regional integration in eight regional economic communities (RECs) through 16 indicators covering five major areas: trade integration, productive integration, regional infrastructure, free movement of people, and financial integration. Read on
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    In an interview with the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), NEPAD CEO Ibrahim Mayaki analyses the dynamics of industrialisation in Africa and explains the challenges facing West Africa in this area. Industrialisation in the sub-region lags significantly behind the two major industrial regions that make up North Africa on the one hand and Southern and East Africa on the other. Read on
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    As part of its programme “Le Grand Débat”, the Pan-African radio channel, Africa N°1, dedicated a special issue to the future of African cities. Senior Economist Philipp Heinrigs of the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD) presented key findings from the most recent update of the Africapolis study, which provides a comprehensive and comparable dataset on urbanisation in West Africa. Read on

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