Research policy is a priority for central banks. It affords the monetary authorities with the benefit of rigorous scientific methodology, strengthens the effectiveness of monetary policy by deepening knowledge about the economies and improving monetary policy formulation, and facilitates the understanding of recent theoretical developments and their application to the conduct of monetary policy. Research also provides a scientific basis for economic policy decisions, and enhances the credibility of the authorities and the policies they adopt.

In 1993, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) set up a research unit to strengthen its focus on research and ensure that its decisions were based on rigorous scientific analysis. In 1996, the BCEAO also set up a Research Directorate responsible for conducting research and developing analytical, forecasting and simulation tools. In 2002, the Central Bank adopted a cooperation framework to define the terms of its partnership with the academic world, promote economic research in WAEMU countries and strengthen research and analysis capacities within the institution itself. Finally, in November 2019, a new Research and Partnerships Directorate was created at the West African Center for Banking Studies and Training (COFEB) with the aim of making COFEB a world-class center by expanding its partnerships with universities and research centers.

The BCEAO's research policy is part of an internal framework aimed at strengthening the scientific foundation of its analyses, and a framework for external cooperation with universities and research centers to promote economic research. It is organized around seven (7) focus areas, namely:

  • Producing Working Paper Series ;
  • Modeling and developing economic forecasting tools;
  • Training and supervision;
  • BCEAO & university conferences;
  • Workshops, symposiums and seminars;
  • Publication of the Economic and Monetary Review;
  • The Abdoulaye Fadiga Prize for Economic Research.