Economic convergence within the West African space: Regional economic integration put to the test of facts

Hassan Maman ABDO
Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey, Niger

Mahaman Laouan ABOUBE
Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey, Niger

Wayne State University, Detroit, USA

Abstract : In this article we first propose a discussion in the light of recent works on the economic convergence or not of West African countries which have been in the process of regionalization of trade since 1975. We then examine the determinants of convergence based on the spatial econometric analysis of all these States over the period 1990–2021. The results obtained show that the economies are globally and highly divergent ; the absolute and conditional convergences not being realized. But three convergence clubs have been identified, with Senegal standing apart. The investment rate, public expenditure, inflation rate, purchasing power parity, trade openness rate, school enrolment rate and population growth rate, as structural control variables, played an important role in assessing the speed and level of divergence of West African economies. This has highlighted the differences in per capita income, the delay in the integration mechanisms and the effects of the shocks to which these economies are subject.

Keywords : regionalization of trade, economic convergence, West African countries.

JEL classification : F100, F110, F130, F140, F150.