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Classwork Exercise and Series (Geography- SS3): International Economic Cooperation Of West Africa


Foundation of Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS)

The treaty called Lagos treaty formally establishing ECOWAS was signed by in May 28th, 1975 in Lagos by fifteen West Africa Heads of state. Guinea Bissau later joined to make up 16countries. However, the idea of establishing ECOWAS was conceived by the heads of State of Nigeria and Togo in 1973

Aims and Objectives of ECOWAS

  1. To promote economic co-operation among member state
  2. To promote trade among member of states
  3. To promote free movement of people within the sub-region, without visa
  4. To ensure cultural cooperation eg in sports, education, arts etc
  5. To develop foreign establishment
  6. To eventually establish common currency
  7. To enlarge natural resources base of member nation

Achievements or benefits of ECOWAS

  1. The ECOWAS has lead to the development of common market for goods produces within the sub-region
  2. It has also promoted free movement of people, thereby abolishing the use of visa
  3. It has led to cultural integration through free movement of people
  4. The free movement of people has led to educational interaction within the sub- region
  5. These have promoted cooperation among the member states
  6. Unity has been promote within member states
  7. Citizens of member states have the right to settle anywhere to the sub region
  8. ECOWAS has also helped to link members within the sub – region in promotion of sports

Problems of ECOWAS

  1. Similarity of products economy limits the volume of trade among member states
  2. There are also differences in political ideology among member states
  3. Some members do not pay heir dues regularly leading to shortage of funds
  4. There is also the problem of transportation and communication within the economic sub-region
  5. Differences in currency limit te level of the level of trade among member states
  6. There is problem of debt burden and existence of artificial barriers to trade
  7. There is the problem of political instability in some member states

Solutions to the problem

  1. There should be need for the diversification of production leconomy so that different countries produce different goods
  2. There should be trade liberalization among member states
  3. Members should be committed in all their activities
  4. Member countries should ensure political stability by good governance
  5. Members should detach themselves from their colonial masters
  6. Common currency should be adopted to facilitate trade within the region
  7. There should be free movement of people within sub-region through joint construction of international roads and railway lines

For more notes; see:

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