Talk:Economic Community of West African States

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Why isn't this article classified as a stub? There is virtually no information on the history of ECOWAS, or it's importance and role in West Africa, which is considerable. This article needs much expansion and should be classified as a stub as it currently stands. Rvinall

Aye, it should be classified as a stub - and should be expanded. While we're at it, has anybody else heard of the information that the ECOWAS is to be expanded to a large degree over the rest of the west African states in 2006? Can't remember where I found that rumour... Nightstallion 04:58, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Alright, I have just added the stub marker to this article. Now let's try to get some more information. Rvinall 04:25, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Info added. Rudykog 02:48, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


The article lists two dates for Mauritania leaving - 2000 and 2002. The World Bank website says 1999, whereas this site says 2002. Any ideas? Cordless Larry 23:07, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I looked at older versions of the CIA world factbook. Under "International organization participation" Ecowas doesn't appear for Mauritania in the 2002 factbook so it had to have happened between July 2001 and July 2002. Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 02:41, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I've done some more research and it seems that the application for withdrawal was made on 26 December 1999 (see here) and became effective on 31 December 2000 (see here). Cordless Larry (talk) 14:55, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
And it's on the logo.--Kintetsubuffalo (talk) 16:17, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

International orgnizations[edit]

I added the category "International organizations," but note in passing that there seems to be a lot of overlap with International Organizations of Africa, and that perhaps the whole hierarchy of these categories may need looking at.--A12n (talk) 04:28, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Gauge (railway)[edit]


  • 1000 4,472km 42.7%
  • 1067 4,593km 43.9%
  • 1435 1,409km 13.5%

The three main gauges in the ECOWAS area can be combined as Triple Gauge.
The two narrower gauges are too close to allow 3-rail dual gauge and must be combined as 4-rail dual gauge.
4-rail dual gauge can allow for standard gauge for slight extra cost.


There are a number of ways of transshipping freight between the different gauges:

Tabletop (talk) 02:26, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

notable ECOWAS court ruling[edit]

A notable ECOWAS court ruling was the 2015 ruling against Burkina Faso on the exclusion of MPs who voted for the abolishment of term limits (in favor of the later ousted president Blaise Compaoré), ahead of the Burkinabé general election, 2015; it can be found at [1].----Bancki (talk) 11:07, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

Dr. Kohnert's comment on this article[edit]

Dr. Kohnert has reviewed this Wikipedia page, and provided us with the following comments to improve its quality:

- "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." [suggested revision: "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. The CFA-zone is basically composed of two sub-zones, characterised by significant structural economic and political differences within and between its member countries: the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU/UEMOA) and the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (EMCCA / CEMAC)."]

- "UEMOA is a customs union and currency union between the members of ECOWAS. Its objectives include the following. ... The harmonization of fiscal policies." [suggested revision: ".... The harmonization of fiscal policies. However, whether it is feasible to achieve these ambitious aims with economic means of regional economic and monetary cooperation, is open to question. Experts and the international donor community periodically caution about diverting attention from the most pressing needs of African countries by pursuing over-ambitious monetary policies. African governments should get the priorities right, i.e. they ought to implement first sustainable solutions to the problems of crisis resolution and prevention, the fight against corruption and rent-seeking elites, in order to promote good governance, transparency and accountability. The realities of African economies suggest that the grand new projects of monetary unions are unlikely to succeed (Fn.: Masson, Paul R. / Pattillo, Catherine (2004): The monetary geography of Africa. Brookings Inst. Press ). The growing structural divergences between UEMOA and CEMAC have been intensified by the recent development of world oil markets, booming production in Equatorial Guinea and the arrival of Chad in the club of oil producers. Nevertheless the CFA-zone in general, and the UEMOA in particular, have been considered as model case for economic and monetary integration in Africa. Yet, neither of these sub-zones meets the classical criteria of the Optimum Currency Area (OCA). In contrast, they show a low degree of diversification of production and exports, low factor mobility (except of labour in some countries) and price and wage flexibility, different levels of infrastructure and of inflation, low intra-regional trade and a strong exposure to asymmetrical external shocks (e.g. violent political conflicts, different terms of trade development for oil- and agricultural exports). The rules of the informal sector, are more important in structuring the CFA-zone than the institutions and policies of the formal economic sector, including its monetary institutions. For decades, rent-seeking informal trans-national social networks, such as the 'Messieurs Afrique' (Fn.: Glaser, Antoine / Smith, Stephen (1992/1997): Ces messieurs Afrique. Le Paris-village du continent noir. Paris, Vol. I-II, Calmann-Levy, 1992 (I), 1997(II) ; Hugon, Philippe (1998): “Les avatars de la Zone Franc face à l’Euro“, in: Cahier GEMDEV (Groupement d’Intérêt Scientifique pou l’Étude de la Mondialisation et du Développement), No. 25, pp.: 363-394; Verschave, François-Xavier (1998): Françafrique. Paris, l’Harmattan) dominated the CFA-Zone. For example, prices of French imports were overpriced, due to protection by tied aid and other political and cultural non-tariff barriers. The cost of this rent-seeking was carried not only by the French Treasury, who guarantees the peg, but by the French and EU-taxpayers, who financed budgetary bail-outs and development aid, and finally by the poorer member countries and social strata (Fn. Kohnert, Dirk (2005): Monetary Unions - Dominated by the North? The CFA-Zone and the CMA - On the relevance of rational economic reasoning under African conditions. In: Fritz, Barbara / Metzger, Martina (eds.)(2005): New Issues in Regional Monetary Coordination - Understanding North-South and South-South Arrangements, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, pp. 177-187). The F CFA viability has been hurt by its dependency on the monetary policy of the Euro-zone, which does not necessarily correspond to the needs of African member countries. Ambitious convergence criteria had been introduced with the 1994 devaluation and the founding of the UEMOA and CEMAC respectively. However, its implementation had been hampered by the lack of political will and the aftermath of the Ivorian crisis since 2002. If the CFA-Zone wants to perform efficiently in the future, it should no longer be based on its inherited colonial culture, but on the economic needs of the population in the respective member countries. Unfortunately, overriding concerns on the political stability of the region, and dependency on its traditional allies concerning crisis resolution, prevented up to now any meaningful transformation of CFA-Zones structures.]

- "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." [suggested revision: "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. Despite several, often competing projects of monetary cooperation in West Africa the monetary arrangements are of questionable viability. The CFA-zone and the WAMZ are vivid examples of the limited practical value of abstract economic models, like that of Optimum Currency Areas (OCAs), in the African context. The major structural deficiencies within and between member states of each zone cannot be solved by monetary coordination. They require sustainable political and economic solutions, adapted to the specific needs of each of its members, and aimed at the ownership of the measures and instruments by each country and/or sub-zone concerned. Concentrating efforts and scarce means on over-ambitious plans for monetary integration, like that of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), pushed by the Anglophone West African governments of Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, in order to establish the Eco as a common virtual currency in competition to the rival F-CFA, diverts attention from more important bottlenecks of development in the region and would lead to a sub optimal allocation of resources and the temptation for fiscal wastefulness through prospects of a bail-out, or costs that are diluted through the membership (Fn.: Debrun, Xavier / Masson, Paul / Pattilo, Catherine (2002): Monetary union in West Africa – Who might gain, who might lose, and why? IMF Working Paper, WP/02/226, IMF, Washington D. C.; IMF (2003): West African Economic and Monetary Union - Recent Economic Developments and Regional Policy Issues; and Public Information Notice on the Executive Board Discussion. IMF Country Report No. 03/70, Washington D.C; Masson, Paul R. / Catherine Pattillo (2002): Monetary union in West Africa: An agency of restraint for fiscal policies? Journal of African Economics.,11. 387 - 412 Masson, Paul R. / Catherine Pattillo (2001): Monetary union in West Africa (ECOWAS): is it desirable and how could it be achieved? IMF, Washington, DC, Occasional paper, no. 204; Page, Sheila / Bilal, Sanoussi (2001): Regional integration in Western Africa. Report prepared for and financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands, ODI, London, September 2001). The same holds for rival efforts of Francophone circles to establish the F CFA as anchor currency of the future WAMZ.]

We hope Wikipedians on this talk page can take advantage of these comments and improve the quality of the article accordingly.

Dr. Kohnert has published scholarly research which seems to be relevant to this Wikipedia article:

  • Reference : Kohnert, Dirk, 2015. "Togo: recent political and economic development," MPRA Paper 62029, University Library of Munich, Germany.

ExpertIdeasBot (talk) 18:43, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

Popuation ranking[edit]

How come the population of ecowas which is 340,000,000 (2013 estimate) is only ranked fourth? Surely it should be third? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:47, 23 January 2017 (UTC)