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Can Sever
This paper focuses on the trends in climate change in the WAEMU, assesses the criticality of climate change for the region, and reviews the related policy and financing options going forward. Climate change has been increasingly affecting the lives and livelihoods in the WAEMU. Temperatures have risen significantly, and climate-related disasters have hit the region more frequently in recent decades. Climate change can exacerbate the current challenges and hinder long-term economic prospects by threatening economic growth, food security, fiscal and external sustainability, and social outcomes in the region. Macroeconomic policies, structural reforms and cooperation among different parties remain critical alongside regional efforts, in particular to have access to necessary financing and bolster adaptation efforts.
Can Sever
This paper documents the current state of gender inequalities in the WAEMU by focusing on outcomes (health, education, labor market and financial inclusion) and opportunities (economic rights). The findings show that despite significant progress toward gender equality over the last three decades, there are still prevalent gender-based disparities, which prevent women from fulfilling their economic potential. Both empirical and model-based estimates suggest that the WAEMU can reap substantial economic gains by mitigating the existing gender gaps in schooling and labor market outcomes. Hence, achieving gender equality remains a macro-critical goal for the region. Going forward, the need for specific policies supportive of gender equality may vary in each member country, but a multifaceted and holistic approach is needed to unleash the related economic potential in the WAEMU as a whole.
Alain Feler and Lawrence Norton
This paper discusses recent challenges in BCEAO monetary policy, from a recent spike in inflation, the persistent erosion of external reserves, and strains in the regional financial market. In response to these shocks, the BCEAO operated via both policy rates and liquidity management, including by shifting from fixed to variable rate auctions. The paper finds that the conduct of monetary policy became progressively more constrained by financial stability and external viability challenges, arguing for enhanced monetary-fiscal policy coordination to help the BCEAO meet its reserves objectives.