The purpose of this study is to assess
the role of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the Economic Integration
of West African states between 1975 - 1998.
The project work is divided into five
Chapter 1 deals with Introduction and
Background Information to the study.
Chapter 2 examines with Conceptual Framework and Theory of Cooperation and integration
Chapter 3 discusses the Financial/
Economic Cooperation and Integration, Treaties of integration, Conferences
held, Decisions and their Implementation regarding integration.
Chapter 4 focuses on Political Integration
in West African States.
Chapter 5 deals with Assessment /
Conclusion of the integrations.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Tables of Contents vi
1.1 Introduction and Background Information 1
of Study 8
Delimitation of Study 8
Conceptual Framework and Theory Of
Notes/ References 20
Economic Cooperation and integration 21
of Integration 30
held Decision and their implementation regarding integration
and References 72
Political integration in West African
Notes and References 81
/ Conclusion of the integration 81
5.2 Recommendations 86
Bibliography / References 90
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
Integration in the West African Sub-
region has largely been, informed by the integration processes in Western
Europe, Latin America, Asia and else where in Africa.
. The main objectives of integration in these areas have generally been both
economic and political . It has been economic where the immediate
ore-occupation has been the promotion of better economic welfare or economic development
whereas, it has been political where the ultimate concern is the political
unity of the component states. The emergence of a Federal or confederal System is
to cater better for the political and economic interests of the member states
in a highly competitive global system The inevitability of political unity has
been underscored by the fact
that economic integration has been a political process which requires the
surrendering of the major national economic instruments to the supranational
authority, also it involves the government of the member States as the major actors
as far as the initiation and implementation of sub - regional policies are
The agenda of setting up the ECOWAS has
been influenced by global trends. The birth of ECOWAS was in itself a response
of member States to the challenges of globalization. On 28th May
1975 when ECOWAS was born in Lagos
with the signing of the ECOWAS treat, the world was going through a crisis in international economic relation
manifested in the following areas:
living standards in developing countries.
- dependence of the region on the advanced economies especially the metropolis
limited spaces for manoeurability by the individual developing countries on the
global system distorted by the bi-polarity divide into which developing
countries are caught.
cherished and yet abused principle of national Sovereignty and it linkage with
national security and the inviolability of domestic jurisdiction
accompanying paradox of sovereign
equality of states and inequality in
the ability to act.
realization by developing countries especially of Africa
of the need for collective self reliance in order to at least survive in the system and engage in
It is against this background that with the assistance of the limited Nations
especially UNECA in Addis - Ababa, a rational framework was agreed i.e the
creation of regional economic communities as means of collative self- reliance
for sustainable socio - economic
development, and as building blocks of an African Economic Community.
Thus the vision the founding fathers of
ECOWAS was to create a single regional
economic space as a prelude to the continental one, through integration and
Collective self - reliance, an
economic space with a single market and single currency capable of generating accelerated
Socio - economic development and competing more
meaningfully in the global market of large trade blocs and uneven patterns of
trade between the industrialized North and raw materials-based economics of the
By the mid - 1970s many West African
Countries were already in the threshold of
economic difficulties in the aftermath of the global oil price shock of 1973. Many
of the countries in the Sub - region,
apart from Nigeria
which produces oil had serious problems of external balances.
There was need for increased foreign
financial support it they were to be able to maintain a minimum level of
imports to ensure a steady process of economic growth and
development . Consequently at it formation, the ECOWAS held a lot of promises
as one of the dynamic strategies through which economic under development could
be surmounted and the all - pervading poverty in the Sub -region eliminated.
This assumption was based on the unique size of the community which has a population of about 150 million people.
It was assumed that the large population would
serve not just as means for the mobilization of internal resources for
industrialization but also as a powerful attraction for the inflow of foreign
However, it has been observed that the ECOWAS has some other special
features. It is an integration scheme which cuts across all colonial
boundaries, encompassing the Anglophone, Francophone and lusophone countries of
the Sub -region. There is no doubt therefore that ECOWAS since it inception in
1975, has contributed immensely in bringing West African governments enterprises
organization and people closer to each other. There has been a general sense of
development of cooperation and integration for mutual benefits.
The governments, and peoples of one
member state have shown increasing interests in the welfare and progress of the
government, organizations and people of another member State
as a testimony to a gradual but Steady growing awareness of the necessity for
inter dependent development . However while this has been an emerging feature
in the Sub-region, it is also a common Knowledge that the very essence of
integration has not, even after three decades of the operation of the Community
manifested itself to our mutually desired
level of cooperation.
There can be no gain - saying the fact
that the process of integration is complex and arduous. This is evident from
the cases of other integration arrangement
among developed and developing countries such as the European Economics
Community (EEC) or the Caribbean Community (CARTCOM) where
integration has occurred in gradual Stages. The
truth is that integration would only proceed where member states are prepared
to make sacarifies on Several levels. The political leaders and other
integrators in the Sub – region did undoubtedly make such Sacarifies and
Commitments but these were inadequate during the first decade of operation of
the community. It is now evident that renewed energies are required and new
Path cultivated if a new lease of life was to be given to the Community for its
optimal performance .
During the first two decades of integration,
much has been learned about the problems
and techniques of regional integration among developing countries. In
particular, the inherent limitations of orthodox customs unions and of measures
for trade liberalization are now widely recognized . It is widely appreciated
that effective regional integration demands not only such measures of negative integration
but also what Timbergen (1965) terms measures of positive integration These are measures designed to make an integrated
market function effectively and promote broader policy objectives.
Although gaps in technical knowledge
remain, if the knowledge gained from the integration experience of the past two
decades is put to good use of which there are Signs - both established schemes and those in the process of formation
will stand a much improved chances of making their potential contribution to development
Secondly, the political context may in
some respects have become more
favourable. It is often suggested that in the sphere
of regional integration it Is not so much technical knowledge that has been
lacking but the political will. During the last two decades, the emphases of
policy in most African States has been on internal political Consolidation
Although these internal pre-occupation have certainly not disappeared the
balance may be shifting. In fact, this reflects the new importance attached to
changing the international environment and
to the attainment of economic
objectives through political means. In fact, it simply reflects a more
conventional reaction to the
impact of world divide recession.
Finally, there appears to be renewed
recognition on the part of and agencies and donors of the role that integration
is capable of playing, and of the need to provide support for regional
projects, policies and perhaps institutions including the much needed development
of transport links, if that potential
is to be realized.
This could result in regional integration
Broadly, the objective of the study is
to attempt an evaluation of ECOWAS integration in the West Africa Sub - region
since its inception in 1975.
Specific objectives shall include the
following to identify the nature and origin and the factors that precipitated
the creation of ECOWAS .
To attempt and evaluate the performance
of the role of member states in the formation of ECOWAS .
To elucidate the treaties that led to the creation of ECOWAS.
To appraise some problems that have
inhibited the realization of total integration of member State
To make Suggestion that can help for
proper and meaningful political and ECOWAS integration.
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY
A Considerable amount of interest and
concern have been shown by many scholars and diplomats about the problems and
prospects of the Political and Economic integration of the peoples of the West
African Sub - region .
As a result of this, my concern
therefore appear to stem from the fact that human and materials needed for the
consistent and effective implementation of the programme of integration in the
West African Sub - region .
It then becomes imperative to make a
critical study of its implementation. It is therefore the purpose of this study
to find out whether or not there objectives of the founding fathers of ECOWAS
have be realized.
1.4 SCOPE/ DELIMITATION OF STUDY
To achieve the objective of this Study,
the scope shall include:
critical explanation and analysis of the general nature and importance of
integration in the international System in general and in the African continent
examination of the theory and conceptual frame of the ECOWAS integration and;
relevance of political and economic integration in West
A. Obiozor, Patrick Cole, U, Joy Ogwu. Nigeria and the ECOWAS since 1985.
Fourth Dimension Press 1991 pp I - XIII
Ibn Chambas, (NIIA Lecture Series N0 86) 2005 pp 10 - 11
pp 11 - 12 .
A Obiozor, ECOWAS since 1985 Fourth Dimension press 1991, pp X -XII
pp XII - XIII
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