Real and conditional convergence in Africa: The case of the Franc zone Countries..


Latif Dramani

Using the convergence theory inspired by models of endogenous growth, this paper analysed convergence in the economies of the Franc Zone countries in Africa. With an econometric validation based on cross-sectional and panel data, the paper tested a number of hypotheses, the main ones being the convergence of the economies of the UEMOA and CEMAC zones through per capita income, 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. Further, the conditional convergence model highlights the existence of key variables that help to maximize the convergence speed. A more refined convergence approach, which used similarities related to production factors and those related to natural advantages highlight the presence of a convergence club. The study found a period-related convergence in the cotton-producing countries, coffee-producing countries and coastal countries. This shows that the hypothesis of a common convergence path in the Franc Zone has not been borne out by our study.

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