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8 Conclusion

This paper analyzed the impact of infrastructure on regional economic growth. Our focus was also on the convergence of per capita GDP in the WAEMU. The analysis was based on the descriptive statistics of the eight WAEMU member-countries observed during the period 1980–2012. These statistical results show a downward trend in the relative difference in per capita GDP in the Union. A conditional convergence model was then estimated using the Arellano and Bond GMM dynamic panel (Arellano and Bond 1991).

The results show that road infrastructure and ICT are key factors for sustainable growth in the WAEMU. These results highlight the critical importance of infrastructure for both structural transformation and regional trade. In this way, infrastructure plays a role in the dynamics of regional integration.

In addition, improvement in other indicators, namely access to education, life expectancy, and physical capital accumulation induce significant gains in growth in the Union. The results of this study suggest an improvement in economic and social infrastructure in the WAEMU otherwise impede progress towards sustainable regional growth. However, the physical infrastructure is only part of the solution; infrastructure services should also be improved in terms of quality and price. These intangible dimensions of infrastructure could be improved only through effective regulation at national and regional levels.


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