Growth Without Development in West Africa: Is It a Paradox?

Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)


In the last 15 years, countries in West Africa have had reasonable growth rates averaging about 5 %; growth has been propelled by high prices of commodity exports. The paper examined whether growth has resulted in economic development of the sub-region. The lack of consistent data on relevant economic and social variables such as unemployment, primary and secondary school completion rates prevent a robust analysis of the growth—development nexus. Nonetheless, panel regression results show that public investment and democracy are positively related to economic development while lack of access to sanitation and water reveal a negative relationship to development. In addition, stylized facts show that marginal gains were achieved as regards development indicators. It is important that leaders, policy-makers and technocrats implement policies and programmes that stress sustained growth and inclusive development.


Growth Inclusive development West Africa 

JEL Classification

H11 011 


  1. Baran PA (1968) The political economy of capitalism. Monthly Review Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Ekpo AH (ed) (2012a) Post-crisis economic reforms: implications for sustained economic development in ECOWAS. WAIFEM, LagosGoogle Scholar
  3. Ekpo AH (2012b) Public debt and growth in selected West African countries: implications for economic integration. Afr J Econ Policy 19(2):1–25Google Scholar
  4. Ekpo AH (2012c) The role of the global economic crisis in the dynamics of the labour market in Sub-Saharan Africa. West Afr Financ Econ Rev 9(1):1–25Google Scholar
  5. Ekpo AH (2013a) Growth without development in Nigeria: confronting the paradox. Niger Account 46(4):18–31Google Scholar
  6. Ekpo AH (2013b) Promoting inclusive development in Nigeria: issues of policy reforms and expectations from economic agents, distinguished public lecture. Department of Economics and University of LagosGoogle Scholar
  7. Ekpo AH (2013c) Rethinking institutions and economic development: is there a ‘new’ framework? Paper presented at the 54th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Economic Society, Abuja, 18 Sept 2013Google Scholar
  8. Ekpo AH (2014) Governance, growth and development in selected West African countries: a re-consideration of the evidence. Paper presented at the American Economic and National Economic Association, Philadelphia, January, 2014Google Scholar
  9. Ekpo AH, Omoruyi S (2013) Fiscal policy coordination: issues with illustration from Nigeria. West Afr Financ Econ Rev 10(1):1–29Google Scholar
  10. Ianchovichina E, Gable L (2009) What is inclusive growth? World Bank, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  11. Jones CI (2002) Introduction to economic growth, 2nd edn. W.W. Norton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Mankiw NG, Romer D, Weil D (1992) A contribution to the empirics of economic growth. Q J Econ 107:407–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Solow RM (1956) A contribution to the theory of economic growth. Q J Econ 70:65–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. WAMI (2011) Annual report and statement of accounts. WAMI, AccraGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM)LagosNigeria

Personalised recommendations