Regional economic integration in West Africa: Senegal has opportunities but could do better

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AfDB has just published a new study, co-financed by Canada, entitled Regional integration in West Africa; Challenges and opportunities for SenegalThe report was written in French. A summary of the report is available in English.

The objective of this publication, which has a hundred or so pages divided into five chapters, is to identify the opportunities and strengths that can make economic integration in West Africa (ECOWAS) a more effective driver for the economic development of the region in general, and Senegal in particular, in the face of multiple economic challenges. Its goal is also to identify the constraints and other barriers preventing Senegal from taking advantage of the opportunities and strengths that integration offers, in order to drive a more sustained pace of development.

The report studies, among other things, the key roles played by transport and energy infrastructure as vectors of opportunities for trade in the products in the Senegalese economy's five competitiveness clusters and its position within ECOWAS.

This new publication is in line with the Bank's strategy, which aims to support its member countries in their development efforts and their ambitions for economic growth. Carrying out a comprehensive review of Senegal's strengths (exemplary democracy and stability, export potential, etc.) and its weaknesses and other constraints (energy and transport infrastructure, the business environment, etc.), the study ends with the "formulation of a set of recommendations to strengthen Senegal's position within the region. An action plan and a prospectus have been prepared on the basis of the study's results."

Recently completed, this publication is the result of numerical analyses, validated by a broad range of actors from the public and private sectors and from civil society.

A dissemination workshop for the study will be held on February 6, 2015 in Dakar, Senegal, chaired by Khadim Diop, Minister for African Integration, NEPAD and the Promotion of Good Governance. It will also be attended by the Canadian Ambassador to Senegal, Philippe Beaulne, and the African Development Bank Resident Representative in Senegal, Mamadou Lamine N’Dongo. Moderation of the workshop will be by Mamadou Lamine Loum, former Senegalese Prime Minister.

Table In terms of "revealed comparative advantage" (RCA), Senegal is the most diversified economy in ECOWAS