Economic Community of West African States
|This article needs to be updated. (January 2017)|
|Economic Community of West African States
|Ellen Johnson Sirleaf|
• President of the Commission
|Marcel Alain de Souza|
|Moustapha Cissé Lô|
|28 May 1975|
|5,112,903 km2 (1,974,103 sq mi) (7th)|
• 2013 estimate
|49.2/km2 (127.4/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2013 estimate|
|US$ 1,322 trillion  (18th)|
• Per capita
$ 675 Billion2013
• Per capita
|Time zone||(UTC+0 to +1)|
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.
- 1 Members
- 2 Structure
- 3 Economic integration
- 4 Transport
- 5 Controversies
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Ivory Coast
- Sierra Leone
President of the Commission, current and former
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politics and government of
the African Union
From 1977 to 2006 the post name was Executive Secretary
- Aboubakar Diaby Ouattara Ivory Coast 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
- Victor Gbeho Ghana 18 February 2010 – 1 March 2012
- Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo Burkina Faso 1 March 2012 – 4 June 2016
- Marcel Alain de Souza Benin 4 June 2016 – Present
- Yakubu Gowon Nigeria 28 May 1975 – 29 July 1975
- Gnassingbé Eyadéma Togo 29 July 1975– 13 September 1977
- Olusegun Obasanjo Nigeria 13 September 1977 – 30 September 1979
- Léopold Sédar Senghor Senegal 30 September 1979 – 31 December 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 Gambia 1989–1990
- Blaise Compaoré Burkina Faso 1990–1991
- Dawda Jawara Gambia 1991–1992
- Abdou Diouf Senegal 1992–1993
- Nicéphore Soglo Benin 1993–1994
- Jerry 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 – 1999
- Alpha Oumar Konaré Mali 1999 – 21 December 2001
- Abdoulaye Wade Senegal 21 December 2001 – 31 January 2003
- John 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 Ivory Coast 17 February 2012 – 17 February 2013
- John Dramani Mahama Ghana 17 February 2013 – 19 May 2015
- Macky Sall Senegal 19 May 2015 – 4 June 2016
- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Liberia 4 June 2016 – Present
Regional security cooperation
The ECOWAS nations 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.
Expanded ECOWAS Commission
For the third time since its inception in 1975, ECOWAS is undergoing institutional reforms. The first was when it revised its treaty on 24 July 1993; the second was in 2007, when the Secretariat was transformed into a Commission. As of July 2013, ECOWAS now has six new departments (Human Resources Management; Education, Science and Culture; Energy and Mines; Telecommunications and IT; Industry and Private Sector Promotion. Finance and Administration to Sierra Leone has been decoupled, to give the incoming Ghana Commissioner the new portfolio of Administration and Conferences)
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 did not 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 Articles 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 East African Court of Justice, it has jurisdiction to rule on fundamental human rights breaches.
Sporting and cultural exchange
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, mainly francophone West African states within the ECOWAS, that was dominated otherwise by anglophone heavyweights like Nigeria and Ghana. 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 called the Eco. The six member states of WAMZ are Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone who founded the organisation together in 2000 and Liberia who joined on 16 February 2010. Apart from Guinea, which is Francophone, they are all English speaking countries. 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)
A Trans-ECOWAS project, established in 2007, plans to upgrade railways in this zone.
Documents of Edward Snowden showed in December 2013 that British and American intelligence agencies surveillance targets with America's National Security Agency (NSA) included organisations such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations Development Programme, the UN's children's charity UNICEF and Médecins Sans Frontières.
- 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
- Data. "GDP, PPP (current international $) | Data | Table". Data.worldbank.org. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
- Data. "GNI per capita, PPP (current international $) | Data | Table". Data.worldbank.org. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
- Data. "GDP (current US$) | Data | Table". Data.worldbank.org. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
- Adeyemi, Segun (6 August 2003). "West African Leaders Agree on Deployment to Liberia". Jane's Defence Weekly.
- Pazzanita, Anthony (2008). Historical Dictionary of Mauritania. Scarecrow Press. pp. 177–178.
- "Profile: Economic Community of West African States" (PDF). Africa Union. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Bensah, Emmanuel K. (2013-07-24). "Communicating the ECOWAS Message (4): A New Roadmap for the Ouedraogo Commission(1)". Modernghana.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
- ECOWAS (2007) Information Manual: The Institutions of the Community ECOWAS
- "Miss ECOWAS 2010". The Economist. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Fau-Nougaret (ed.), Matthieu (2012). "La concurrence des organisations régionales en Afrique". Paris: L'Harmattan.
-  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
- "Common West Africa currency: ECO in 2015". MC Modern Ghana.
- "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.
- Proposed Ecowas railway. railwaysafrica.com.
- GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief The Guardian 20 December 2013
- 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
- More About the newly-expanded ECOWAS Commission
- More About an ECOWAS Commissioner
- ECOWAS document in World Bank's World Integrated Trade Solution *GPTAD database library