The IMF says sustained growth in West Africa can be derailed by the uncertainty that currently beclouds the world economy.
It said on Thursday in Abidjan that the African and Asian economies had fared better in scaling the global recession that was triggered in 2008.
It added however that the European economies were yet to get out of the woods.
The Brettons Wood institution, in a seminar on the Economic Perspective for Sub-Sahara African Region, said growth in West Africa had been steady and projected to rise.
It said the region must watch global trends nonetheless.
IMF Director of Africa Department, Roger Nord, said the outlook on West Africa for 2012 still looked positive for sustained growth, with a projection of five per cent growth rate.
He said the region must diversify its economy and encourage trade without barriers within its zone.
Nord also warned that the prices of commodities like petrol could fluctuate and the financial crisis in the euro zone could have a spill-over.
He said growth in the sub-Sahara region had been largely due to economic reforms, favourable commodity prices and tight budgets.
Nord said: ``The vigorous economic policies applied served the interest of sub-Saharan Africa when the world was hit.
``Owing to the fact that inflation was weak and that the budgetary situations were healthy as a whole, the countries of the area could take measures to compensate for the sharp decline for exports.
``The solidity of national bases of deposits protected, on the whole, the African banking structures from the world financial tensions.’’
Another IMF official at the Department of Africa, Wayne Camard, advised that Francophone countries with a common monetary service (UOEMO), CFA, must also increase their surveillance of banking.
He said this was in order to sustain growth and avoid systemic risks.
In his presentation which was country-specific on Cote d'Ivoire, another IMF official, Mfort Mlailula, said the West African country could achieve an eight per cent growth rate by year end.
He said the country would by this be joining the success story after many years of crisis.
The Ivorian Minister of Finance, Charles Diby, said the IMF had been viewed poorly as a projector of western capitalism in West Africa, but it had contributed to the growth of the region.
According to him, there is a need to change perspective and accept the fact that African countries are also members and actors in the IMF.(NAN)