THE ECOWAS REGIONAL INTEGRATION AGENDA: A MODEL-BASED ASSESSMENT

Omolola Omotayo Towobola, Olajire Abiola Bamisaye

Abstract


The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was established primarily to achieve an economic integration goal in the West Africa sub-region.  In-spite of its existence for 49 years, it is often assessed and projected mainly via the prism of its peace support and peace keeping operations through ECOMOG, a role that was forced upon it circumstantially. The objective of this study is to assess ECOWAS as a regional economic integration agency using a standard economic integration model. Data for the assessment was sourced through secondary sources. The study showed that ECOWAS regional integration process is in four (4) stages or levels: (1) a free trade area; (2) a customs union; (3) a common market, and (4) an economic and monetary union. The findings revealed that ECOWAS has achieved level one (1) and is in the process of fully achieving level two (2) in the regional integration processes scale. Levels three (3) and four (4) are still outstanding. The study concluded that, for it to achieve its primary goal of economic integration, it is important for ECOWAS to be more aggressive and purposeful in the pursuit of its original regional economic integration agenda, and to expose itself to regular assessment using a reliable, realistic and acceptable economic integration model.


Keywords


Region, Integration, ECOWAS, EU, Protocol, Treaties.

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