The Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) headquarters in Dakar, Senegal, on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. West Africa’s growth slowed to 3.7% this year from 3.9% in 2022 due to the global economy and higher inflation, the Economic Community of West African States said. Photographer: Damian Lemaski/Bloomberg via Getty Images

DAKAR, March 6 (Reuters) – West Africa’s regional central bank kept its main lending rate unchanged at 3.5% in a decision announced on Wednesday.

“This decision … takes into account the reduction in inflationary pressures and the improvement of the union’s external accounts,” the bank said in a statement following a Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Dakar.

The Central Bank of West African States (the BCEAO) covers Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

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(Reporting by Diadie Ba; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Alexander Winning)