Prospects for the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU)
Economic growth in WAEMU reached 6.1% in 2016, outperforming peer regional blocs including its closest rival, the East Africa Community (EAC), which (excluding South Sudan) grew by 5.8%. However, business environment reforms lag those of the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, which could dampen longer-term growth.
- Despite recent progress, growth rates need to increase above 7% for at least 20 years for the zone to reach middle-income status.
- The structural depreciation of Nigeria's naira could erode regional integration as importing within the zone becomes more expensive.
- Security fears in Ivory Coast could shift investors' focus to Senegal -- despite Yamoussoukro's recent eurobond success.