CURRENT ACCOUNT SUSTAINABILITY OF ECOWAS
COUNTRIES

 

Yaya Sissoko•
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Niloufer Sohrabji
Simmons College

 

ABSTRACT

This paper examines current account sustainability of eight countries in the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS); Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sénégal and Togo. The paper uses the intertemporal solvency framework of Hakkio and Rush (1991) and Husted (1992) and cointegration methodology to test for a long run relation between exports and imports items of the current account. Further, we estimate this long-run relationship using dynamic OLS. Our results show that only Sénégal and Togo have sustainable current account positions. Of the others, Ghana and Niger have a statistically significant relation between exports and imports although it is not strong enough, and thus they continue to have vulnerable current account positions. The rest of the countries have unsustainable current account deficits. The paper argues that monetary, trade and political reforms are necessary to reduce vulnerabilities in external positions.