Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies

First Advisor's Name

John Clark

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Rod Neumann

Third Advisor's Name

Francois Debrix

Date of Defense



French-speaking countries in West Africa have a long history of inter-state cooperation that goes to the French colonization of the region. The culmination of their integration resulted in the creation of L'Union Economique et Monétaire Quest Africaine, UEMOA (The West African Economic and Monetary Union). With its financial and monetary arrangements, which include a common currency and a central bank, UEMOA is one of the most far-reaching examples of economic integration among developing countries. UEMOA's main advantage has thus been its "depth."

What makes the study of Francophone regionalism in West Africa even more interesting at this particular time is the fact that it is taking place within the context of a new wave of integration characterized by a trend towards broader regional integration in West Africa. The efforts towards broader integration in West Africa are reflected in the activities of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

ECOWAS has been able to engage in integration activities in a broad range of sectors. The existence of the two integration schemes has raised questions regarding the chances for the successful accomplishment of regional integration in West Africa. More specifically, UEMOA has been seen as posing an obstacle to the progress of the larger sub-regional grouping of ECOWAS. In this study, it is argued to the contrary, that UEMOA does not constitute an obstacle to ECOWAS.

The research demonstrates that UEMOA and ECOWAS complement each other in the process of West African integration. The concept of "depth" and "scope" of integration are introduced to illustrate the complementarity between the two West African integration schemes. UEMOA's depth is presented as a necessary complement to ECOWAS' scope. As a result, this analysis demonstrates that Francophone regionalism can indeed make a substantial contribution to West African integration.




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