Macroeconomic policy in the Franc Zone

What can the European Central Bank learn from Africa?

Launch and presentation of a new UNU-WIDER study

by David Fielding and Jean-Paul Azam

Organised by OECD Development Centre & UNU-WIDER

Tuesday 21 February 2006, 15:00 to 17:00 hours, OECD HQ, Paris

The 14-member CFA Franc Zones in West and Central Africa predate the European Monetary Union by decades. With monetary unions planned for other parts of Africa in the near future, a new study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER) focuses on some of the challenges facing the Franc Zone today:

  • How close is the Franc Zone to being an an "Optimum Currency Area"?
  • How well do the institutions of the Franc Zone manage monetary policy in the area?
  • How do the policies of the Franc Zone impact on the poorest and most disadvantaged communities in the region?

    The study pays particular attention to the way in which this disparate group of countries exploits the advantages and manage the costs of adhering to a single currency. It also analyses the impact Franc Zone institutions on poverty.

    The plan by non-CFA ECOWAS countries, and by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, to form monetary unions in the next two years makes the research, based on rigorous economic and econometric methodology, particularly timely.

    CHAIRPERSON

    Kenneth G. Ruffing is Co-ordinator of the OECD Development Centre/African Development Bank African Economic Outlook. Following a long career with the United Nations, he was formerly Deputy Director and Chief Economist of the OECD's Environment Directorate from 2000 to 2005.

    SPEAKERS

    David Fielding is Professor of Economics at the University of Otago, New Zealand. His research interests are in development macroeconomics and quantitative political economy. He has previously held positions at the Universities of Oxford, Nottingham and Leicester. David Fielding is the Director of the UNU-WIDER project "Macroeconomic Policy in the Franc Zone."

    Jean-Paul Azam is Professor of Economics at the University of Toulouse and at the Institut Universitaire de France, and the Director of ARQADE (Research in Quantitative Applied Development Economics). He has served for about 15 years as a resource-person with the AERC (African Economic Research Consortium), and as a consultant for, amongst others, the World Bank, the OECD Development Centre, and the Agence Francaise de Developpement.

    DISCUSSANTS

    Nicolas Pinaud is the OECD Development Centre specialist on the Rand zone and part of the African Economic Outlook team. He recently published a study titled "Reducing Capital Cost in Southern Africa".

    Bruno Cabrillac is an Economic Advisor for Africa at the Treasury and Economic Policy General Directorate of the French Ministry of Finance. Has widely published on the economies of Middle East and China.

    Admission is free. Please register in advance contact: Teresa.Wells@oecd.org
    + 33.1.45.24.96.16
    Fax + 33 (0)1 44.30.61.49
    www.oecd.org/dev

    Address: Room 4, OECD Headquarters, 19 rue de Franqueville, 75016 Paris (metro: La Muette)

    For more information on the event and interviews with the speakers, please contact:

    Colm Foy, Head of Publications and Communications at OECD Development Centre
    Tel +33 (1) 45 24 84 81
    Colm.FOY@oecd.org

    and/or

    Ara Kazandjian, Outreach and Media Coordinator at UNU-WIDER

    +(358-9) 615-99-210

    Mobile: +(358-50) 351-0325

    ara@wider.unu.edu

    The presentations are based on the following publications

    Macroeconomic Policy in the Franc Zone
    Edited by David Fielding
    (hardback) 1403949522
    September 2005
    Studies in Development Economics and Policy
    Palgrave Macmillan
    www.palgrave.com

    The CFA Franc Zone 10 Years After Devaluation
    Journal of African Economies Volume 13 Number 4 (December 2004) WIDER Special Issue
    Edited by David Fielding
    Oxford University Press
    www.oxfordjournals.org

    What can the European Central Bank learn from Africa?
    David Fielding
    UNU Policy Brief No. 4, 2005

    ###

    World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER) undertakes multidisciplinary research and policy analysis on structural changes affecting the living conditions of the world's poorest people; provides a forum for professional interaction and the advocacy of policies leading to robust, equitable and environmentally sustainable growth; and promotes capacity strengthening and training for scholars and government officials in the field of economic and social policy making. UNU-WIDER is the first research and training centre of the United Nations University, established in Helsinki, Finland in 1984. www.wider.unu.edu

    Created in 1962 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, the Development Centre is an interface between OECD Member countries and the emerging and developing economies. The Centre's Member countries are represented at Ambassadorial level on a Governing Board which oversees the design and implementation of bi-annual work programmes.

    www.oecd.org

    The UNU-WIDER study is funded through contributions from the Ministries for Foreign Affairs and Departments of Development Cooperation of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. We acknowledge with thanks their support to the Institute's research programme.


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