UEMOA “Major advances have been made in 25 years”
The 25th anniversary of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), celebrated on January 10th, 2019 in Ouagadougou, provided an opportunity to take stock of a flagship institution in the region. Despite more than 100 million inhabitants, a dynamic community market and a stable macroeconomic framework, the Union has weaknesses, starting with the level of intra-community trade, around 16% …
By Ibrahima SANOU in Ouagadougou
Created in 1994 in Dakar by the sub-region’s heads of states (8 in number) in order to build unity and solidarity between their people and to work towards the complementarity of their economies, UEMOA have realized so many achievements 25 years later, faith of the Ivorian president. As President-in-Office of the Conference of Heads of State and Government, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara chaired on January 10th, 2019, in Ouagadougou, the 25th anniversary ceremony of UEMOA alongside his counterpart from Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, host of the event. “Over the past 25 years, our union has made major progress in terms of solidarity between our citizens, the creation of common markets based on the free movement of goods, people and capital, the establishment of a common currency, in addition to macroeconomic convergences and harmonization of policies in the economic and social sectors within the union”, said President Ouattara. According to UEMOA Commission’s president, Abdallah Boureima, the institution now has more than 100 million inhabitants, a very dynamic community market and a stable macroeconomic framework. Despite its performance, the union has weaknesses according to the Ivorian head of state. “The evolution of intra-community trade rates is very low. They are now at 16% while they were at 10% at the start. According to him, “this weak evolution could be explained by the structure of the trade marked by a homogeneity of the goods and services exchanged in our space”. He also mentioned the many controls on the corridors.
“The free movement of people and goods is not, so far, totally effective in the UEMOA area”
Also, other issues could be added in this context: the challenges of youth employment, climate change, security and above all the free movement of people and goods, which is not yet fully effective in the union space, according UEMOA Commission’s president, Abdallah Boureima. Hence the choice of the theme “25 years of progress towards regional integration: together to relaunch the challenge of free movement of people and goods” for commemoration. Moreover, to meet this challenge, at the heart of the mission of the Institution, Abdallah Boureima announced that the commission will organize next June an international symposium that will contribute to the definition of strategies to compete effectively. “In the same vein, there is the decision taken in Abidjan in April 2017, by the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Union and aimed at consolidating the process of integration into a more open new international and regional order “. This perspective requires the union, a new approach to modalities of intervention and appropriate institutional governance he advocated. “It goes without saying that we will approach this new stage with foresight and determination in a dynamic of mutually beneficial partnership with the other actors of regional integration”.
Inauguration of the UEMOA administrative complex in Ouaga 2000
At the end of the ceremony, presidents Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and Alassane Ouattara inaugurated the UEMOA administrative complex located in Ouaga 2000. A newly constructed building to house certain services of the sub-regional institution.