The Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO) is the common central bank of the eight member states which form the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) (Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine - UEMOA). The BCEAO is a public international institution whose headquarters is located in Dakar, Senegal.
As an issuing institute and a monetary authority, the BCEAO maintains a wide range of relationships with banks and financial institutions based in the member states of the UEMOA. These relationships consist mainly in monitoring the banking system operations as well as the distribution of credit.
In line with its statutes, the BCEAO grants assistance to banks and financial institutions authorized to conduct business in the West African Monetary Union member states.
This assistance can take the following forms:
- advances backed on government securities issued or guaranteed by member states
- discounts, purchase, sales, repurchase agreement or loans backed on various securities.
Other services offered by the BCEAO to assist banks and credit institutions include:
- organisation of the money market
- opening of accounts in its books for banks and financial institutions
- execution of money transfers for credit institutions
- centralisation of payment operations undertaken by credit institutions, organisation and management of the interbank clearing house system
- maintaining all documents and information provided by credit institutions, required to run the operations of a central bank
- offering training in banking techniques for the personnel of public administrations, banks and financial institutions.
The BCEAO produces the monetary and balance of payments statistics for the eight member states and the region as a whole. The central bank collects data from the commercial banks, microfinance institutions and other financial intermediaries. She compiles and disseminates monetary statistics, including central bank’s balance sheet, credit institutions balance sheet and governments net position. Moreover, the BCEAO computes and publishes a wide range of monetary and financial indicators on interest rates, money market statistics, bank’s credits conditions, credits offered and deposits. The BCEAO also produces and disseminates balance of payments (b.o.p.) for the eight WAEMU countries and the region as a whole.
In line with the needs of conducting monetary policy, the BCEAO produces various analyses and studies on the WAEMU economies, based on its own periodical business surveys and data produced by national statistical offices.
As an economic and financial advisor for the governments, the BCEAO collects, analyzes and disseminates financial government statistics and a wide range of other general economic statistics. These government financial data cover their revenues and expenditures, government debt, and the relationship between the government deficit and changes in government debt. The general economic statistics are related to national accounts, infrastructures, social (educational, health, employment, poverty and wealth), population and environment statistics. The BCEAO takes part in the assessment of the convergence of the WAEMU member states economies within the framework of the Convergence, Stability, Growth and Solidarity Pact.
The BCEAO maintains a database on statistics of the member countries.
The BCEAO maintains relationships and shares data with the Franc Zone institutions, IMF and other central banks, like BEAC, Banque de France and ECB.
The BCEAO is a component of the National Statistical System of the WAEMU. She is an active stakeholder of the Harmonised Consumer Prices Index Project that she promotes with other partners since 1994, like all the region’s statistical harmonisation programs.
The BCEAO is a member of the Board of Directors of AFRISTAT (Economic and Statistical Observatory of sub-Saharan Africa) and participates, with consultative voice, in the meetings of the Council of Ministers of AFRISTAT.
The BCEAO participates in main economic activities conducted in West Africa or the African area, particularly with the Association of African Central Banks (AACB).
Received September 2010