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5 Conclusion

The paper empirically examines the growth enhancing variables for a group of selected WAMZ country (The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone), over different periods due to gaps in the availability of data. The countries share some common characteristics in culture, geographical proximity, lingua-franca and imperialisation with respect to some economic features. On the contrary however, this does not necessarily imply homogeneity as the appropriate statistical test reveals that the countries are dissimilar. This may be as a result of differences in institutions and as such, policy needs should be implemented according to countryspecific characteristics, but may not necessarily be at the expense of the economic integration exercise. The integration exercise of the group should thus be undertaken in 'sequencestation'.

The results also suggest that the selected WAMZ economies should be studied individually while determining their growth enhancing drivers using time series data rather than by longitudinal approach. The other results bring to mind that Official Development Assistance (ODA) is highly fungible in the economies of the WAMZ countries, particularly in capital projects. This inhibits domestic tax drive, diversification and competitiveness. Government consumption expenditure crowds-out private sector in Nigeria. As such small government is plausible. The marginal net effect of government is positive if (government) is small as such positive effect on the private sector productivity could dominate the discretionary tax effect. Corruption was also identified as one of the inhibiting factors in the zone's development path. In overall, to maximize the returns of government spending on growth and avoid the 'fungality' of foreign aid, fiscal discipline and consolidation is required for the growth process of the WAMZ economies.

Acknowledgment I wish to express my appreciation to WAIFEM and CREPOL for the funding provided to read this paper at the ACRIA5.


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