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Miss Mahvash S Qureshi and Mr. Charalambos G Tsangarides

, by taking into account the possibility that a country may be similar to one country or group of countries in some respects and, at the same time, share certain other characteristics with another country or group of countries. In the end, a country is assigned the largest membership coefficient for the cluster with which it shares the greatest similarities. The findings of our analysis reveal considerable dissimilarities in the economic characteristics of the countries in West Africa. In particular, the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) countries do not form a

Miss Mahvash S Qureshi and Mr. Charalambos G Tsangarides
Applying techniques of clustering analysis to a set of variables suggested by the convergence criteria and the theory of optimal currency areas, this paper looks for country homogeneities to assess membership in the existing and proposed monetary unions of the broader west African region. Our analysis reveals considerable dissimilarities in the economic characteristics of the countries in west and central Africa. In particular, the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) countries do not form a cluster with the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) countries; and, within the WAMZ, there is a significant lack of homogeneity. Furthermore, when west and central African countries are considered together, we find significant heterogeneities within the CFA franc zone, and some interesting similarities between the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) and WAMZ countries. Overall, our findings raise some questions about the geographical boundaries of several existing and proposed monetary unions.
Miss Mahvash S Qureshi and Mr. Charalambos G Tsangarides

. Conclusion and Policy Implications References Appendices Appendix I Appendix II Appendix III Tables 1. Membership coefficients for WAMZ countries 2. Membership coefficients for ECOWAS countries 3. Dissimilarities between member countries 4. Membership coefficients for West and Central Africa 5. Membership coefficients for the Euro Area Figures 1. Hierarchical Clustering Analysis: WAMZ Countries 2. Hierarchical Clustering Analysis: ECOWAS Countries 3. Characteristics of the WAMZ Countries 4. Characteristics of the WAEMU Countries 5

Mr. Paul R Masson, Mr. Xavier Debrun, and Ms. Catherine A Pattillo

Masson and Pattillo (2001) , internal trade within the ECOWAS region is relatively small, at a little over 10 percent of the average of exports and imports. The WAEMU countries trade considerably more among themselves than do the WAMZ countries. 12 There is also considerable informal trade in the region, reflecting efforts to avoid trade restrictions and trade taxes, difficulties in acquiring convertible currencies, and traditional trade patterns (e.g., between coastal states and the Sahel) that are not picked up in the official statistics. Intraregional trade

Miss Mahvash S Qureshi

the possibility that a country may be similar to one country (or group of countries) in some respects and at the same time share certain other characteristics with another country (or group of countries). In the end, a country is assigned the largest membership coefficient for the cluster with which it shares the greatest similarities. The findings of our analysis reveal considerable dissimilarities in the economic characteristics of the countries in West Africa. In particular, the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) countries do not form a cluster with the WAEMU

Mr. Lubin Kobla Doe
This paper examines the reform of the main domestic consumption taxes initiated by the CEMAC and the WAEMU aimed at reinforcing their economic integration. On the whole, compliance with the VAT is relatively weaker in the CEMAC than in the WAEMU. The opposite applies for excises. Major reforms would need to be undertaken by WAMZ countries, except Ghana and, to a lesser extent, Nigeria in order to align their tax structure with that of the WAEMU as planned for 2007.
Mr. Lubin Kobla Doe

the common regime. V. D omestic C onsumption T ax P olicy in the WAMZ The differences between the WAEMU/CEMAC and the WAMZ are less striking for consumption taxes than external tariffs. Indeed, of the five WAMZ countries, three have in place the VAT (Ghana, Guinea, and Nigeria, Appendix Table 6 ). The Gambia applies a two-tier turnover and sales taxes, though at rates that are generally lower than the VAT rates in the WAEMU. One of the three WAMZ countries that implement the VAT applies a rate that is significantly lower than the minimum rate of WAEMU

Mr. Lubin Kobla Doe
This paper examines the reform of the external tariff initiated by the CEMAC and the WAEMU that is aimed at reinforcing their economic integration. Overall, there is broad compliance with the streamlined and moderate rates, but with significant deviations from the harmonized paths in several countries. WAMZ countries, except Ghana, need to undertake major reforms in order to align their external tariff structures with that of the WAEMU as planned for 2007. To promote full compliance with the harmonized external tariff policies, the paper suggests, measures need to be taken, including the creation of financial incentives, at the regional and country levels.
Mr. Lubin Kobla Doe

assessing compliance of union members with the community regulations. Noncompliance is virtually cost-free because no penalty or sanction is attached to the failure to comply fully with the tax directives. The planned integration of the economies of the WAEMU and the WAMZ calls for a review of the tax policy in the latter group in order to assess its distance from the WAEMU tax regimes and the conditions for effective implementation by the WAMZ countries of the WAEMU model. This is the subject of the next section. V. E xternal T ariff R egimes in the WAMZ

Ms. Anne Marie Gulde

and proposed monetary unions. They also confirm significant heterogeneities within the CFA franc zone as it now exists. The authors find that the WAMZ countries do not form a cluster with the WAEMU countries, but (interestingly) there are similarities between CEMAC and WAMZ countries. However, within the WAMZ, there is a significant lack of homogeneity. Integration and Growth The final set of papers is concerned with long-term prospects for countries in the region. The papers document the level of integration that has been achieved and examine the extent to