ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States)


ECOWAS Established:28th May 1975.
ECOWAS Headquarters:Abuja, Nigeria.
ECOWAS Members:15 Members.
ECOWAS Objective:To enhance economic stability in Africa.
Organization Type:Economic organization.

What is ECOWAS?

ECOWAS stands for the Economic Community of West African States. The ECOWAS is a political and economic organization of the West African countries. ECOWAS also serves as a peacekeeping force in the region and sends joint military forces to the member countries at times of political instability and unrest.

ECOWAS was set up to foster the ideal of collective self-sufficiency for its member states. As a trading union, it is also meant to create a single, large trading bloc through economic cooperation. The ECOWAS has a combined GDP of $735 billion, and member countries cooperate in the fields of industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, commerce, monetary and financial issues, and social as well as cultural matters.

Establishment of ECOWAS:

The ECOWAS was established on the 28th of May 1975 in Lagos, Nigeria, after the treaty of ECOWAS signed on the same day. Also, a revised version of the treaty was agreed and signed on 24 July 1993 in Cotonou, Benin.

Objectives of ECOWAS:

The aim of the Community is to promote cooperation and integration, leading to the establishment of an economic union in West Africa in order to raise the living standards of its peoples, enhance economic stability, foster relations among Member States and contribute to the progress and development of the African continent.

Headquarters of ECOWAS:

The headquarters of ECOWAS is in Abuja, Nigeria.

ECOWAS Members:

There are 15 Members of the ECOWAS and they are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.

Vision of ECOWAS:

The vision of the ECOWAS is to have a borderless region where the population has access to its abundant resources and is able to exploit them through the creation of opportunities in a sustainable environment.

Or we can say an integrated region where the population enjoys free movement, access to efficient education and health systems, engages in economic and commercial activities and lives in dignity, in an environment of peace and security.

Official Languages of ECOWAS:

The official languages of the ECOWAS are English, French and Portuguese.

Fundamental Principles:

There are 11 fundamental principles of the organization-

1. Equality and inter-dependence of Member States.

2. Solidarity and collective self-reliance.

3. Inter-State cooperation, harmonisation of policies and integration of programmes.

4. Non-aggression between Member States.

5. Maintenance of regional peace, stability and security through the promotion and strengthening of good neighbourliness.

6. Peaceful settlement of disputes among Member States, active cooperation between neighbouring countries and promotion of a peaceful environment as a prerequisite for economic development.

7. Recognition, promotion and protection of human and people’s rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

8. Accountability, economic and social justice and popular participation in development.

9. Recognition and observance of the rules and principles of the Community.

10. Promotion and consolidation of a democratic system of governance in each Member State as envisaged by the Declaration of Political Principles adopted in Abuja on 6 July 1991.

11. Equitable and just distribution of the costs and benefits of economic cooperation and integration.

International Organizations

ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States)