Economic Groupings in West Africa | ECOWAS, Objectives, Achievements

ECOWAS ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, was established on May 28th, 1975, following the signing of the treaty in Lagos, Nigeria. The member countries of ECOWAS are Sierra Leone, Gambia, Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Benin, and Togo. The Objectives of ECOWAS […]

ECOWAS

ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, was established on May 28th, 1975, following the signing of the treaty in Lagos, Nigeria. The member countries of ECOWAS are Sierra Leone, Gambia, Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Benin, and Togo.

The Objectives of ECOWAS

  1. Promotion of cooperation and development among member countries.
  2. Elimination of trade restrictions among member countries.
  3. Establishment of a common tariff against non-member countries.
  4. Removal of obstacles to the free movement of goods, people, and capital among member countries.
  5. Harmonization of agricultural policies.
  6. Implementation of infrastructural schemes and joint developmental projects in transportation, energy, and other areas.
  7. Harmonization of monetary policies among member countries.
  8. Harmonization of economic and industrial policies among member countries.
  9. Establishment of a common fund for cooperation, compensation, and development.

Some Achievements of ECOWAS

  1. Expansion of the market for goods.
  2. Reduction in tariffs between member countries.
  3. Execution of joint projects, such as road construction.
  4. Establishment of the ECOMOG to ensure peace and security in the sub-region.
  5. Fostering unity and a sense of belonging.
  6. Enhanced mobility of labor and capital through the free movement of people.
  7. Increased efficiency due to heightened competition.

ECOWAS faces several problems or failures

  1. Language differences among member countries.
  2. Currency differences among member countries.
  3. Irregular payment of contributions/dues by member states.
  4. Existence of blocs within the organization, such as Anglophone and Francophone blocs.
  5. Affinity of some member states to their former colonial masters.
  6. Constant military coups, wars, and political instability in member states.
  7. Weak national link with the secretariat.
  8. Fear of dominant and unequal development.

Moving on to the Niger Basin Commission (NBC), it was established in 1964 through the act of Niamey, signed by nine member countries: Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Mali, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Chad, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso. The commission’s headquarters is located in Niamey, Niger Republic.

The Objectives of the Niger Basin Commission

  1. Ensuring the most effective and beneficial use of the waters and resources of the River Niger.
  2. Collecting, evaluating, and disseminating data on the basin.
  3. Recommending plans for the judicious use of the Niger Basin to the governments of member countries.
  4. Guaranteeing the freedom of navigation for all member nations on the river.
  5. Fostering closer cooperation among member nations.
  6. Handling complaints and settling disputes arising from the use of the River Niger by member nations.

Lastly, the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) was established in 1964 and comprises four member countries: Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.

The aims and objectives of the Lake Chad Basin Commission

  1. Regulating the exploitation of the Lake Chad resources.
  2. Examining member countries’ plans for Lake Chad.
  3. Ensuring cooperation and mutual benefit in the tapping of resources in the Lake Chad Basin.
  4. Harmonizing the plans and policies of member countries concerning the Lake Chad Basin.

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