Economic Community of West African States
|Economic Community of West African States|
|Headquarters|| Abuja, Nigeria
|-||President of the Commission||Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo|
|-||Speaker of the Parliament||Ike Ekweremadu|
|-||Treaty of Lagos||28 May 1975|
|-||Total||5,112,903 km2 (7th)
1,974,103 sq mi
|-||2011 estimate||300,000,000 (4th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2011 estimate|
|-||Total||US$ 703,279 billion (23rd)|
|-||Per capita||US$ 2,500|
|Time zone||(UTC+0 to +1)|
|a.||If considered as a single entity.|
|b.||To be replaced by the eco in 2015.|
|c.||Liberia and Sierra Leone have expressed an interest in joining the eco.|
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS; French: Communauté économique des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest, CEDEAO) is a regional group of fifteen West African countries. Founded on 28 May 1975, with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos, its mission is to promote economic integration across the region.
Considered one of the pillars of the African Economic Community, the organization was founded in order to achieve "collective self-sufficiency" for its member states by creating a single large trading bloc through an economic and trading union. It also serves as a peacekeeping force in the region. The organization operates officially in three co-equal languages—French, English, and Portuguese.
The ECOWAS consists of two institutions to implement policies—the ECOWAS Commission and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, formerly known as the Fund for Cooperation until it was renamed in 2001.
A few members of the organization have come and gone over the years. In 1976 Cape Verde joined ECOWAS, and in December 2000 Mauritania withdrew, having announced its intention to do so in December 1999.
Current members 
President of the Commission, current and former 
|This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the African Union
From 1977 to 2006 the post name was Executive Secretary
- Aboubakar Diaby Ouattara (Côte d'Ivoire) January 1977 – 1985
- Momodu Munu (Sierra Leone) 1985–1989
- Abass Bundu (Sierra Leone) 1989–1993
- Édouard Benjamin (Guinea) 1993–1997
- Lansana Kouyaté (Guinea) September 1997 – 31 January 2002
- Mohammed Ibn Chambas (Ghana) 1 February 2002 – 31 December 2006
From the restructuring
- Mohammed Ibn Chambas (Ghana) 1 January 2007 – 18 February 2010
- James Victor Gbeho (Ghana) 18 February 2010 – 1 March 2012
- Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso) 1 March 2012 – present
- Gnassingbé Eyadéma (Togo) 1977–1978
- Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria) 1978–1979
- Léopold Sédar Senghor (Senegal) 1979–1980
- Gnassingbé Eyadéma (Togo) 1980–1981
- Siaka Stevens (Sierra Leone) 1981–1982
- Mathieu Kérékou (Benin) 1982–1983
- Ahmed Sékou Touré (Guinea) 1983–1984
- Lansana Conté (Guinea) 1984–1985
- Muhammadu Buhari (Nigeria) 1985 – 27 August 1985
- Ibrahim Babangida (Nigeria) 27 August 1985 – 1989
- Dawda Jawara (the Gambia) 1989–1990
- Blaise Compaoré (Burkina Faso) 1990–1991
- Dawda Jawara (the Gambia) 1991–1992
- Abdou Diouf (Senegal) 1992–1993
- Nicéphore Soglo (Benin) 1993–1994
- Jerry John Rawlings (Ghana) 1994 – 27 July 1996
- Sani Abacha (Nigeria) 27 July 1996 – 8 June 1998
- Abdulsalami Abubakar (Nigeria) 9 June 1998 – 1999
- Gnassingbé Eyadéma (Togo) 1999
- Alpha Oumar Konaré (Mali) 1999 – 21 December 2001
- Abdoulaye Wade (Senegal) 21 December 2001 – 31 January 2003
- John Agyekum Kufuor (Ghana) 31 January 2003 – 19 January 2005
- Mamadou Tandja (Niger) 19 January 2005 – 19 January 2007
- Blaise Compaoré (Burkina Faso) 19 January 2007 – 19 December 2008
- Umaru Musa Yar'Adua (Nigeria) 19 December 2008 – 18 February 2010
- Goodluck Jonathan (Nigeria) 18 February 2010 – 17 February 2012
- Alassane Ouattara (Côte d'Ivoire) 17 February 2012 – present
Regional security cooperation 
The ECOWAS nation assigned a non-aggression protocol in 1990 along with two earlier agreements in 1978 and 1981. They also signed a Protocol on Mutual Defence Assistance in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on 29 May 1981, that provided for the establishment of an Allied Armed Force of the Community.
The Community Court of Justice 
The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice was created by a protocol signed in 1991 and was later included in Article 6 of the Revised Treaty of the Community in 1993. However, the Court didn’t officially begin operations until the 1991 protocol came into effect on 5 November 1996. The jurisdiction of the court is outlined in Article 9 and Article 76 of the Revised Treaty and allows rulings on disputes between states over interpretations of the Revised Treaty. It also provides the ECOWAS Council with advisory opinions on legal issues (Article 10). Like its companion courts the European Court of Human Rights and the East African Court of Justice, it has jurisdiction to rule on fundamental human rights breaches.
Sporting and cultural exchange 
Economic integration 
West African Economic and Monetary Union 
The West African Economic and Monetary Union (also known as UEMOA from its name in French, Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine) is an organization of eight West African states. It was established to promote economic integration among countries that share the CFA franc as a common currency. UEMOA was created by a Treaty signed at Dakar, Senegal, on 10 January 1994, by the heads of state and governments of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. On 2 May 1997, Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony, became the organization’s eighth (and only non-Francophone) member state.
- Greater economic competitiveness, through open markets, in addition to the rationalization and harmonization of the legal environment
- The convergence of macro-economic policies and indicators
- The creation of a common market
- The coordination of sectoral policies
- The harmonization of fiscal policies
Among its achievements, the UEMOA has successfully implemented macro-economic convergence criteria and an effective surveillance mechanism. It has adopted a customs union and common external tariff and has combined indirect taxation regulations, in addition to initiating regional structural and sectoral policies. A September 2002 IMF survey cited the UEMOA as "the furthest along the path toward integration" of all the regional groupings in Africa.
ECOWAS and UEMOA have developed a common plan of action on trade liberalization and macroeconomic policy convergence. The organizations have also agreed on common rules of origin to enhance trade, and ECOWAS has agreed to adopt UEMOA’s customs declaration forms and compensation mechanisms.
- Benin (Founding Member)
- Burkina Faso (Founding Member)
- Ivory Coast (Founding Member)
- Guinea-Bissau (Joined on 2 May 1997)
- Mali (Founding Member)
- Niger (Founding Member)
- Senegal (Founding Member)
- Togo (Founding Member)
West African Monetary Zone 
Formed in 2000, the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) is a group of six countries within ECOWAS that plan to introduce a common currency, the Eco, by the year 2015. All the members of the group are English-speaking countries, apart from Guinea, which is Francophone. Along with Mauritania, Guinea opted out of the CFA franc currency shared by all other former French colonies in West and Central Africa.
The WAMZ attempts to establish a strong stable currency to rival the CFA franc, whose exchange rate is tied to that of the Euro and is guaranteed by the French Treasury. The eventual goal is for the CFA franc and Eco to merge, giving all of West and Central Africa a single, stable currency. The launch of the new currency is being developed by the West African Monetary Institute based in Accra, Ghana.
- Gambia (Founding Member)
- Ghana (Founding Member)
- Guinea (Founding Member)
- Liberia (Joined on 16 February 2010)
- Nigeria (Founding Member)
- Sierra Leone (Founding Member)
See also 
- Brown card system–motor insurance scheme of ECOWAS
- East African Community
- Economy of Africa
- Southern African Development Community (SADC)
- Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
- Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
- African Union
- IMF GDP data, September 2011
- IMF GDP data, September 2011
- Adeyemi, Segun (6 August 2003). "West African Leaders Agree on Deployment to Liberia". Jane's Defence Weekly.
- "Profile: Economic Community of West African States". Africa Union. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- ECOWAS (2007) Information Manual: The Institutions of the Community ECOWAS
- "Miss ECOWAS 2010". The Economist. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
-  REGIONAL INTEGRATION AND COOPERATION IN WEST AFRICA A Multidimensional Perspective, Chapter 1. Introduction: Reflections on an Agenda for Regional Integration and Cooperation in West Africa
- “Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)” fact sheet from the US Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs
- “Annual Report on Integration in Africa 2002” All Africa, 1 March 2002
- "The Supplementary Wamz Payment System Development Project the Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia". Africa Development Bank Group. 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "WAMZ gets US$ 7.8 million grant". Accra Daily Mail. 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- 2007 Rail link ECOWAS countries
- West-African Monetary Institute
- UEMOA Official Web Site (In French)
- WAEMU Treaty
- ECOWAS Official Web Site
- ECOWAS Commission Official Web Site: includes calendar of meetings.
- ECOWAS Parliament
- ECOWAS Revised Treaty
- ECOBANK—African banking group, present in thirty (30) countries on the African continent plus France in Europe. ECOBANK's Initial Public Offer of eight million plus shares in Accra, Ghana in May 2006 was oversubscribed. The listing of this IPO, landed ECOBANK on the Ghana Stock Exchange. As of December 2009, ECOBANK stock is also listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange and on the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM), the stock exchange of Francophone West African countries in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
- More About Ecobank
- PowerPoint presentation of ECOWAS, 2004
- Mbendi profile
- Security by proxy? The EU and (sub-)regional organisations: the case of ECOWAS, by Bastien Nivet, Occasional Paper No. 63, March 2006, European Union Institute for Security Studies