WAEC Syllabus for Economics 2023: A Comprehensive Guide for Students

We provide a guide to the WAEC Syllabus for Economics 2023, outlining the key topics and skills that students should focus on during their preparation for the WAEC Economics exams.

by A Maria

Updated Jun 02, 2023

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WAEC Syllabus for Economics 2023: A Comprehensive Guide for Students
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West African Examinations Council Overview 

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) is a legally established examination board responsible for conducting examinations of public interest in English-speaking West African countries. Since its establishment in 1952, WAEC has played a significant role in the educational landscape of Anglophone West Africa, which includes Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Gambia.

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The council's primary objectives are to organize and administer examinations and award certificates that are internationally recognized and comparable to those issued by equivalent examining authorities worldwide. WAEC has become one of the largest and most renowned examination bodies in West Africa, making a substantial contribution to education in the region.

Under the leadership of Dr. Adeyegbe, the former Head of the National Office (HNO) of WAEC Nigeria in 2004, the council has built a competent and motivated team of staff who have conducted valid and relevant examinations aligned with the educational aspirations of member countries. Each year, WAEC coordinates examinations for over three million candidates, reflecting the widespread recognition and participation in its examination programs.

Furthermore, WAEC extends its assistance to other examination bodies, both local and international, in coordinating their own examinations, showcasing the council's commitment to promoting excellence in education beyond its immediate jurisdiction. The West African Examinations Council has firmly established itself as a trusted and respected authority in the field of examinations, facilitating educational advancement and providing opportunities for countless individuals in West Africa. Its commitment to excellence, continuous improvement, and collaboration with other examination bodies solidify its position as a key player in the region's educational landscape.

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WAEC Syllabus For Economics 2023

Definition and Scope of Economics

  • Scarcity and Choice, Scale of Preference, Opportunity Cost, Production Possibility Curve. Economic activities – Production, Distribution and Consumption.
  • Classification of economic activities – Primary, Secondary and Tertiary and their relative contributions in terms of output/income, employment, savings, investment and foreign exchange.
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Factors of Production

  • Land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship- meaning, characteristics and importance.

Types and Basic Features of Economic Systems

  • Types – capitalism, socialism and mixed economy.
  • Basic features of each
  • Advantages and disadvantages of each
  • Economic problems of society and the approaches for solving them under each of the systems.

Basic Tools of Economic Analysis

  • Tables, graphs and charts. 
  • Some basic statistical measures and representations –  arithmetic mean, median, mode and their simple applications.

Demand

  • Concept of demand and law of demand, the demand schedules and curve, reasons for exceptional demand curves, types of demand (derived, composite, joint and competitive); factors determining the demand for goods and services – the price of the commodity, prices of other commodities, income, tastes, price expectation, etc.
  • The distinction between a shift of and movement along a demand curve; the concept of elasticity of demand. 
  • Types of elasticity of demand and their measurement – price, income and cross elasticities of demand: the importance of the concept of elasticity of demand to consumers, producers and government.

Supply

  • Concept of supply and law of supply, supply schedules and curve, types of Supply – composite, complementary and competitive.
  • Factors determining supply – input prices, technology, prices of other commodities, climatic factors, etc. 
  • The distinction between the shift of and movement along the supply curve.
  • Concept and measurement of elasticity of supply and its importance to producers and government
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Theory of Consumer Behaviour

  • The utility concepts- total utility, average utility, marginal utility and the calculation of utility schedules.
  • The law of diminishing marginal utility, the relationship between total utility, average utility and marginal utility.
  • The concept of equilibrium of a consumer.
  • Determination of consumer equilibrium.
  • The effects of changes in price on consumer equilibrium. The relationship between marginal utility and the demand curve.

Theory of Price Determination

  • The Concept of the market; interaction between demand and supply.
  • Price determination under free and regulated markets.
  • Equilibrium price and quantity in product and factor markets. The effects of changes in supply and demand on equilibrium prices and quantities.
  • Introduction to the algebraic determination of equilibrium price and quantity.
  • Price controls: maximum and minimum price regulations- meaning and their effects; rationing, black market (parallel market)
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Theory of Production

  • Production: division of labour and specialization
  • The scale of production (Internal and External economies), the concept of the total, average and marginal productivity and the law of variable proportions.
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Theory of Cost and Revenue

  • Cost concepts: total cost, average cost, marginal cost, variable cost, fixed cost; short-run and long-run costs.
  • The distinction between economist’s and accountant’s view of cost (opportunity cost and money cost).
  • Revenue concepts: total, average and marginal revenue; Marginal revenue Product                    

Market Structures

  • Concept of a market, characteristics of various market structures, determination of price and output under different structures – perfect competition and imperfect competition (monopoly and monopolistic competition).
  • Review of cost and revenue concepts. 
  • Price discrimination.

Businees Organizations

  1. Types and basic features of business enterprises – Sole Proprietorship; Partnership, Joint- Stock companies (Private and Public), Co-operatives; Statutory Corporation, Joint ventures.
  2. Sources of funds. 
  3. General and basic problems of business enterprises. 
  4. Privatization and Commercialization as solutions to problems of public enterprises. Indigenization and nationalization policies.

Distributive Trade

  • Process of distribution, role of producers, role of wholesalers, retailers and co-operatives: the role of government agencies in product distribution and the problems of distribution and their solutions.
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Population and Labour Market

Population – determination and implication of size and growth of population, Rural-urban migration, Malthusian theory of population Geographical, age, sex and occupational distribution. 

  • Importance and problems of census.  
  • Population and economic development (underpopulation, optimum population and over-population).
  • Labour Market

 Concept of the labour force and human capital, efficiency and mobility of labour, factors affecting the size of the labour force, particularly the population characteristics (age, sex, occupation, education, etc.)

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  • Supply of and demand for labour: wage determination. Concept of unemployment and underemployment, Trade Unions, Employers’ association and Government policies on labour and wages.

Agriculture

  • Structure (e.g. food crops, export crops, livestock, fisheries): systems of agriculture (peasant, commercial, co-operative and state farming); the importance of agriculture to the national economy: marketing of agricultural products (commodity boards).
  • Agricultural policies (minimum agricultural prices) problems of agriculture and remedies.

Industrialization

  • Meaning and types of industry. Definition of industrial concepts: plant, firm, industry and industrial estates. Location of industry, localization, and the role of industrialization in economic development. 
  • Strategies of industrialization.
  • Problems of industrialization.The link between agricultural and industrial development.
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National Income

  • Meaning of major national income concepts e.g. Gross Domestic Product, Gross National Product. 
  • Net National Product, etc. 
  • Different ways of measuring national income and their problems. 
  • Uses and limitations of national income data; trends and structure of national income.

Money and Inflation

  • Money – definition and historical development-barter and its problems, types, characteristics functions.  Supply of and demand for money, the value of money and the price level.
  • Inflation: meaning types, causes, effects and control. 

Financial Institutions

  • Types (traditional, Central Bank, Commercial Bank, Development Bank, Merchant Bank, Insurance Companies, Building Societies): development and functions of financial institutions. 
  • Money and capital markets; meaning, types and functions
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Public Finance

  • Fiscal policy and objectives of public finance:  Sources of government revenue. 
  • Taxation – types (direct and indirect), objectives, merits, demerits and incidence;
  • Principles/canons of taxation; Rates of taxation(proportional, progressive and regressive) direct and indirect taxation:  incidence and effects of taxes, composition/structure of public expenditure (recurrent and capital expenditure): effects of public expenditure. Government budget and the national debt.

Economic Development and Planning

  • Meaning of economic development, the distinction between economic growth and development, characteristics and problems of developing countries, elements of development planning (objectives of planning, and problems of planning).
  • Types of plans (short term, medium term, perspective or long term, rolling plan etc.).

International Trade and Balance of Payments

  • International Trade: differences between domestic and international trade, the basis of international trade, absolute and comparative cost advantage,  terms of trade (definition and measurement) commercial policy (objectives) and instruments –  tariffs (types) and direct control.
  • Trend and structure of West African countries’ external trade.
  • Balance of Payments: role of money in international transactions, meaning and components of balance of payments, balance of payments disequilibrium, the balance of payments adjustments (exchange rate policy exchange control, monetary and fiscal policies) and financing (the use of reserves and international borrowing).
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Economic Integration

  • Economic Integration (objectives, levels of  and features).
  • Development and problems of economic integration in West Africa- ECOWAS

International Economic Organization

Development and role of:

  • Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)     
  • Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
  • African Development Bank (AfDB)
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) etc. relevance of such organizations to West African Countries.

Major Natural Resources

  • The development of major natural resources (petroleum, gold, diamond, timber, groundnut etc) affects West African economies (positive and negative).

History of West African Examinations Council 

In 1948, the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, the University of London School Examinations Matriculation Council, and the West African Departments of Education convened to discuss the state of education in West Africa. The primary objective of the meeting was to deliberate on the future educational policies in the region.

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During this gathering, Dr. George Barker Jeffery, the Director of the University of London Institute of Education, was appointed to visit several West African countries and assess the overall educational landscape and requirements. Dr. Jeffery embarked on a three-month journey from December 1949 to March 1950, visiting Ghana, the Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.

Upon concluding his visit, he presented a comprehensive report, now known as the Jeffery report. This report strongly advocated for the establishment of a West African Examination Council and provided detailed recommendations regarding the council's composition and responsibilities. Subsequently, the representatives of the aforementioned groups engaged in discussions with the governments of these countries, and they reached a consensus to establish the West African Examination Council, fully embracing Dr. Jeffery's recommendations.

About West African Examinations Council Overview 

SPECIFICATIONS 

DETAILS 

Abbreviation

WAEC

Services

Examinations and academic assessments

Official language

English

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Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

WAEC Syllabus For Economics 2023 - FAQs

1. What is the West African Examinations Council (WAEC)?

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) is an examination board established by law to conduct examinations of public interest in English-speaking West African countries. It was founded in 1952 and has since played a vital role in the educational landscape of Anglophone West Africa, including Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Gambia. The council's main responsibilities are organizing and administering examinations and awarding internationally recognized certificates.

2. What are the objectives of WAEC?

WAEC aims to ensure that the examinations it conducts are on par with international standards and comparable to those issued by equivalent examining authorities worldwide. The council strives to provide valid and relevant examinations that align with the educational aspirations of member countries. It seeks to contribute significantly to education in West Africa by promoting excellence and fostering educational development in the region.

3. How has WAEC contributed to education in West Africa?

WAEC has become one of the largest and most renowned examination bodies in West Africa. Under the leadership of Dr. Adeyegbe, the former Head of the National Office (HNO) of WAEC Nigeria in 2004, the council has established a competent and motivated team of staff. This dedicated team has conducted examinations that reflect the educational aspirations of member countries. Each year, WAEC coordinates examinations for over three million candidates, showcasing its widespread recognition and participation in its examination programs.

4. Are WAEC certificates internationally recognized?

Yes, WAEC certificates are internationally recognized and comparable to those issued by equivalent examining authorities worldwide. The council's commitment to maintaining high standards ensures that its certificates hold credibility and are valued in both local and international contexts. Students who obtain WAEC certificates can utilize them for further education, employment opportunities, and various other purposes, as they carry the weight of a reputable examination board.

5. How can I participate in WAEC examinations?

To participate in WAEC examinations, you must be a student in one of the member countries and register for the respective examination through your educational institution. Each member country has its own registration process and guidelines, so it is advisable to consult your school or educational authority for specific details regarding registration and examination requirements.

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