Explaining the WAEMU Growth Spurt: The Role of Financial Deepening and Macro Policy

Dec 31, 2018 | F. Haile, L.C. Moller | The World Bank

Most countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) experienced a growth acceleration in 2011–17. This paper identifies the determinants of this growth by combining country-specific information with the results of a cross-country regression model. Growth was characterized by capital accumulation and driven by structural factors, including financial deepening and infrastructure development. What sets WAEMU countries apart from other African countries is the very sharp increase in private sector credit supporting private investment. This was facilitated by a prudent and accommodative regional monetary policy and improved financial regulation.