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Role of ECOWAS union in the socio-economic development of West Africa - Essay Example

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This essay talks about the realities of the socio-economic situation in West African countries and the uneven economic relationships with particularly the Western, developed world. The paper examines role of the Economic Community of West African States in the African region, as well is in the world.
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Role of ECOWAS union in the socio-economic development of West Africa
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Download file to see previous pages f the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has helped or hindered the economic progress of the countries in West Africa, with particular focus on the socio-economic conditions of the populations in those countries. In West Africa, ECOWAS has the following member countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. This structure was set up to promote “cooperation and integration” leading to an economic union in West Africa “in order to raise the living standards of its peoples” (ECOWAS website, 2011). A Pan-African slant is also evident in that the intention to promote progress and development on the whole continent is explicitly stated. For a common market to occur; regional economic reform would have to take place; integration particularly in food, agriculture and natural resources was seen as vital. Furthermore the establishment of a common market through liberalization of trade among West African States was envisioned. An important aspect of the ECOWAS initiative is also to ensure a common external tariff and trade policy with regard to third countries, outside this initiative. Additionally, a stated intention in the ECOWAS revised treaty is to promote “balanced development” and a focus on the “special problems of each Member State particularly those of land-locked and small island Member States” (ECOWAS website, 2011).Thus the intention is to improve standards of living, improve Gross Domestic Product (GDP), improve Per-Capita Income (PCI) and generally improve West Africa’s trading position in a global economy for the citizens of this entire region (ECOWAS website, 2011). This has not happened. The elites – both within...
This essay presents a modern thorough analysis of the state of economies of West Africa countries, that participate in the ECOWAS union, their political stances, and their trade policies. The world economy and West Africa’s part in it will be examined in this paper.
In West Africa, ECOWAS has the following member countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. This structure was set up to promote cooperation and integration leading to an economic union in West Africa . A Pan-African slant is also evident in that the intention to promote progress and development on the whole continent is stated. The establishment of a common market through liberalization of trade among West African States was envisioned. An important aspect of the ECOWAS initiative is also to ensure a common external tariff and trade policy with regard to third countries, outside this initiative
Economic and political power on a global stage continues to be centered in Europe and North America. There has been no real change in the international economic power relations after the Colonial Era, despite the growth of Asian economies. The relationship between West Africa and the central economic powers is highly influenced by history, and also by current political conditions in the countries of the region. Despite free trade agreements between the countries of West Africa, prosperity is not immediately, or perhaps even in the long term achievable.
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