Convergence and Economic Integration in Africa: the Case of the Franc Zone Countries

"Using the convergence theory inspired by models of endogenous growth, this paper analysed convergence in the economies of the Franc Zone countries in Africa. In recent years studies on the convergence of economies using beta- and sigma-convergence theories have been improved by taking into account spatial phenomena that had until then been neglected by specification models. Using an econometric validation based on cross-sectional and panel data, the study tested a number of hypotheses, the main ones being the convergence of the economies of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) zones through certain economic and budgetary variables, the existence of spillover effects, as well as the search for a common growth path for the economies of the two zones. The study’s findings show that the convergence process, and hence that of integration, has not been carried out uniformly in the Franc Zone: the process has been given greater emphasis in UEMOA than in CEMAC Zone."