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Economic Community of West African States
  • Communauté économique des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest  ("French)
  • Comunidade Económica dos Estados da África Ocidental  ("Portuguese)
""Emblem of the Economic Community of West African States
""Location of the Economic Community of West African States

"Nigeria "Abuja, "Nigeria

9°2′35″N 7°31′32″E / 9.04306°N 7.52556°E / 9.04306; 7.52556
"Official languages
• "Chairman
"Togo "Faure Gnassingbe
• President of the Commission
"Benin "Marcel Alain de Souza
"Senegal Moustapha Cissé Lô
28 May 1975[1]
• Total
5,114,162 km2 (1,974,589 sq mi) ("7th)
• 2015 estimate
349,154,000 ("3rd)
• Density
68.3/km2 (176.9/sq mi)
"GDP ("PPP) 2015 estimate
• Total
US$1.483 trillion[2] ("18th)
• Per capita
"GDP (nominal) estimate
• Total

$675 billion[4]

2015 ("21st)
• Per capita
Time zone ("UTC+0 to +1)
  1. If considered as a single entity.
  2. To be replaced by the "eco.
  3. "Liberia and "Sierra Leone have expressed an interest in joining the eco.

The Economic Community of West African States, also known as ECOWAS, is a regional "economic union of fifteen countries located in "West Africa. Collectively, these countries comprise an area of 5,114,162 km2 (1,974,589 sq mi), and in 2015 had an estimated population of over 349 million.

The union was established on 28 May 1975, with the signing of the "Treaty of Lagos, with its stated mission to promote economic integration across the region. A revised version of the treaty was agreed and signed on 24 July 1993 in Cotonou. Considered one of the pillar "regional blocs of the continent-wide "African Economic Community (AEC), the states goal of ECOWAS is to achieve "collective "self-sufficiency" for its member states by creating a single large trade bloc by building a full economic and trading union.

ECOWAS also serves as a "peacekeeping force in the region, with member states occasionally sending joint military forces to intervene in the bloc's member countries at times of political instability and unrest. In recent years these included interventions in "Ivory Coast in 2003, "Liberia in 2003, "Guinea-Bissau in 2012, "Mali in 2013, and "Gambia in 2017.[5][6]

ECOWAS includes two sub-regional blocs:

ECOWAS operates in three co-official languages—"French, "English, and "Portuguese, and consists of two institutions to implement policies: the ECOWAS Commission and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), formerly known as the Fund for Cooperation until it was renamed in 2001. A few members of the organization have come and gone over the years. In 1976 "Cape Verde joined ECOWAS, and in December 2000 "Mauritania withdrew, having announced its intention to do so in December 1999.

In 2011, ECOWAS adopted its development blueprint for the next decade, Vision 2020, and, to accompany it, a Policy on Science and Technology ("ECOPOST).


Founding Fathers[edit]

H.E "Ahmed Sekou Toure (Guinea)

H.E "Aristedes Pereira (Cabo Verde)

H.E Dr. "Siaka Stevens (Sierra Leone)

H.E Dr. "William Richard Tolbert Jr. (Liberia)

H.E Gen. "Sangoule Lamizana (Burkina Faso)

H.E General "Gnassingbe Eyadema (Togo)

H.E General "Ignatius Kutu Acheampong (Ghana)

H.E General "Yakubu Gowon (Nigeria)

H.E "Leopold Senghor (Senegal)

H.E Lt. Col. "Mathieu Kerekou (Benin)

H.E "Luis de Almeida Cabral (Guinea Bissau)

H.E "Moktar Ould Daddah (Mauritania)

H.E "Moussa Traore (Mali)

H.E Mr. "Felix Houphouet-Boigny (Cote d'Ivoire)

Member states[edit]

As of February 2017, ECOWAS has 15 member states, eight of these are French-speaking, five are English-speaking and two Portuguese-speaking. All current members joined the community as founding members in May 1975, except "Cabo Verde which joined in 1977.[7] The only former member of ECOWAS is Arabic-speaking "Mauritania, which was also one of the founding members in 1975 and decided to withdraw in December 2000.[7]

"Morocco officially requested to join ECOWAS in February 2017.[8] The application was endorsed at the summit of heads of state in June 2017.[9]

Statistics for population, nominal GDP and purchase price parity GDP listed below are taken from "World Bank estimates for 2015, published in December 2016.[10][11][12] Area data is taken from a 2012 report compiled by the "United Nations Statistics Division.[13]


Country Area[13]
GDP (nominal)[11]
(millions USD)
GDP (PPP)[12]
(millions intl.$)
Currency Official
 "Cabo Verde 4,033 521 1,603 3,413 "escudo "Portuguese
 "Gambia 11,295 1,991 939 3,344 "dalasi "English
 "Guinea 245,857 12,609 6,699 15,244 "franc "French
 "Guinea-Bissau 36,125 1,844 1,057 2,685 "CFA franc "Portuguese
 "Liberia 111,369 4,503 2,053 3,762 "dollar "English
 "Mali 1,240,192 17,600 12,747 35,695 "CFA franc "French
 "Senegal 196,712 15,129 13,610 36,625 "CFA franc "French
 "Sierra Leone 72,300 6,453 4,215 10,127 "leone "English
ECOWAS ZONE A Total 1,917,883 60,550 42,923 110,895 &


Country Area[13]
GDP (nominal)[11]
(millions USD)
GDP (PPP)[12]
(millions intl.$)
Currency Official
 "Benin 114,763 10,880 8,291 22,377 "CFA franc "French
 "Burkina Faso 272,967 18,106 10,678 30,708 "CFA franc "French
 "Ghana 238,533 27,410 37,543 115,409 "cedi "English
 "Ivory Coast 322,463 22,702 31,759 79,766 "CFA franc "French
 "Niger 1,267,000 19,899 7,143 19,013 "CFA franc "French
 "Nigeria 923,768 182,202 481,066 1,093,921 "Naira "English
 "Togo 56,785 7,305 4,088 10,667 "CFA franc "French
ECOWAS ZONE B Total 3,196,279 277,502 580,568 1,371,861 &

Governance Structure[edit]

President of the Commissions[edit]

Jean-Claude Kassi BROU

Before his appointment as President of ECOWAS Commission during the 52nd Conference of Heads of State and Government that took place in Abuja (Nigeria) on December 15th and 16th2017, Mr Jean-Claude BROU has been the Minister of Industry and Mining of Cote d’Ivoire since November 2012 (the mining sector was added to his Department in July 2013).

Dr. BROU holds a PhD in Economics (1982) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance (1980) from the University of Cincinnati (Ohio, USA). He received a Masters Degree in Economics from the National University of Cote d’Ivoire (1976). As an Instructor in the Department of Economics of University of Cincinnati (Ohio, USA), Dr. BROU taught macroeconomics and microeconomics     (1981 – 1982).

Dr. BROU has two publications:

Dr. BROU is fluent in French and English and understands Portuguese and Spanish.[14]


"Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé Eyadéma, Chairperson of the ECOWAS. In office 4th of June 2017 - till date.

Regional security co-operation[edit]

See also: "Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group

The ECOWAS nations assigned a non-aggression protocol in 1990 along with two earlier agreements in 1978 and 1981. They also signed a Protocol on Mutual Defence Assistance in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on 29 May 1981, that provided for the establishment of an Allied Armed Force of the Community.

""Map of the African Union.svg
This article is part of a series on the
"politics and government of
the African Union

Community Parliament[edit]

The Community Parliament consists of 115 members, distributed based on the population of each member state.[15] This body is headed by the Speaker of the Parliament, who is above the Secretary General.

The Parliament shall be the Assembly of the peoples of the Community

The Parliament shall have political and administrative wings.

The structures of the political wings are as follows:


The House of Representatives of the Peoples of the Community shall be designated as the:”ECOWAS Parliament”

Seat of the Parliament

The Seat of the Parliament shall be determined by the Authority.[16]

President Country In office
Inaugural holder "Aboubakar Diaby Ouattara  "Ivory Coast January 1977 – 1985
"Momodu Munu  "Sierra Leone 1985–1989
"Abass Bundu  "Sierra Leone 1989–1993
"Édouard Benjamin  "Guinea 1993–1997
"Lansana Kouyaté  "Guinea September 1997 – 31 January 2002
"Mohamed Ibn Chambas  "Ghana 1 February 2002 – 31 December 2007
"Mohamed Ibn Chambas  "Ghana 1 January 2007 – 18 February 2010
"Victor Gbeho  "Ghana 18 February 2010 – 1 March 2012
"Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo  "Burkina Faso 1 March 2012 – 4 June 2016
"Marcel Alain de Souza  "Benin 4 June 2016 –1 March 2018
Jean-Claude Kassi BROU "Ivory Coast 1 March 2018 – Present
Chairperson Country In office
"Yakubu Gowon "Nigeria 28 May 1975 – 29 July 1975
"Gnassingbé Eyadéma "Togo 29 July 1975 – 13 September 1977
"Olusegun Obasanjo "Nigeria 13 September 1977 – 30 September 1979
"Léopold Sédar Senghor "Senegal 30 September 1979 – 31 December 1980
"Gnassingbé Eyadéma "Togo 1980–1981
"Siaka Stevens "Sierra Leone 1981–1982
"Mathieu Kérékou "Benin 1982–1983
"Ahmed Sékou Touré "Guinea 1983–1984
"Lansana Conté "Guinea 1984–1985
"Muhammadu Buhari "Nigeria 1985 – 27 August 1985
"Ibrahim Babangida "Nigeria 27 August 1985 – 1989
"Dawda Jawara "Gambia 1989–1990
"Blaise Compaoré "Burkina Faso 1990–1991
"Dawda Jawara "Gambia 1991–1992
"Abdou Diouf "Senegal 1992–1993
"Nicéphore Soglo "Benin 1993–1994
"Jerry Rawlings "Ghana 1994 – 27 July 1996
"Sani Abacha "Nigeria 27 July 1996 – 8 June 1998
"Abdulsalami Abubakar "Nigeria 9 June 1998 – 1999
"Gnassingbé Eyadéma "Togo 1999 – 1999
"Alpha Oumar Konaré "Mali 1999 – 21 December 2001
"Abdoulaye Wade "Senegal 21 December 2001 – 31 January 2003
"John Kufuor "Ghana 31 January 2003 – 19 January 2005
"Mamadou Tandja "Niger 19 January 2005 – 19 January 2007
"Blaise Compaoré "Burkina Faso 19 January 2007 – 19 December 2008
"Umaru Musa Yar'Adua "Nigeria 19 December 2008 – 18 February 2010
"Goodluck Jonathan "Nigeria 18 February 2010 – 17 February 2012
"Alassane Ouattara "Ivory Coast 17 February 2012 – 17 February 2013
"John Mahama "Ghana 17 February 2013 – 19 May 2015
"Macky Sall "Senegal 19 May 2015 – 4 June 2016
"Ellen Johnson Sirleaf "Liberia 4 June 2016 – 4 June 2017
"Faure Gnassingbé "Togo 4 June 2017 – present
Country Parliament Seats
 "Benin 5
 "Burkina Faso 6
 "Cape Verde 5
 "Ivory Coast 7
 "Gambia 5
 "Ghana 8
 "Guinea 6
 "Guinea-Bissau 5
 "Liberia 5
 "Mali 6
 "Niger 6
 "Nigeria 35
 "Senegal 6
 "Sierra Leone 5
 "Togo 5

ECOWAS Commission[edit]

The ECOWAS Commission is the main engine room of all ECOWAS programmes, projects and activities. This ECOWAS administrative instrument was transformed from an Executive Secretariat into a Commission in 2007 in fulfillment of a decision to that effect taken the previous year in Niamey.

The change of nomenclature is not just for its sake. In their wisdom, the Heads of States and Governments came to terms with the fact that a Commission such as we now have, is the right set up that can make ECOWAS better adapt to the international environment and bring about more equity, transparency and greater functionality in accordance with global best practices. In other words, the Commission is in a better position to support ECOWAS member states to build their capacities for programme implementation.

Heads of State and Government have also endorsed institutional reforms covering all arms of ECOWAS. By implementing the transformation process faithfully, ECOWAS is re-positioned to fulfill the mandate of its founding fathers and meet new challenges.

Having taken the historic decision to transform the ECOWAS Secretariat into a Commission, ECOWAS is taking ownership of the grand objectives designed to improve the living conditions of the citizenry, ensure economic growth and create an environment conducive to development and meaningful integration.[17]

For the third time since its inception in 1975, ECOWAS is undergoing institutional reforms. The first was when it revised its treaty on 24 July 1993; the second was in 2007 when the Secretariat was transformed into a Commission. As of July 2013, ECOWAS now has six new departments (Human Resources Management; Education, Science and Culture; Energy and Mines; Telecommunications and IT; Industry and Private Sector Promotion. Finance and Administration to Sierra Leone has been decoupled, to give the incoming Ghana Commissioner the new portfolio of Administration and Conferences)[18]

Community Court of Justice[edit]

The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice was created by a protocol signed in 1991 and was later included in Article 6 of the Revised Treaty of the Community in 1993.[19] However, the Court did not officially begin operations until the 1991 protocol came into effect on 5 November 1996. The jurisdiction of the court is outlined in Article 9 and Articles 76 of the Revised Treaty and allows rulings on disputes between states over interpretations of the Revised Treaty. It also provides the ECOWAS Council with advisory opinions on legal issues (Article 10). Like its companion courts the "European Court of Human Rights and "East African Court of Justice, it has jurisdiction to rule on fundamental human rights breaches.[19]

ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID)[edit]

The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), is the financial institution established by the 15 Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) comprising Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo,.

The Bank is an international financial institution with two funding windows to promote private sector activities and fund the development of the public sector. It is based in Lome, the Togolese Republic.

Overall, EBID aims to contribute to the economic development of West Africa through the financing of ECOWAS projects and programs in particular, those related to transport, energy, telecommunications, industry, poverty alleviation, the environment and natural resources.[20]

West African Health Organisation (WAHO)[edit]

The West African Health Organization (WAHO) is the regional Agency charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the health of the peoples in the sub-region through the initiation and harmonization of the policies of Member States, pooling of resources, and cooperation with one another and with others for a collective and strategic combat against the health problems of the sub-region.

Established in 1987 when the Heads of State and Government from all fifteen countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) adopted the Protocol creating the organization and each government subsequently ratified it, WAHO has transcended linguistic borders and hurdles in the sub-region to serve all fifteen ECOWAS Member States.

The Protocol, grants WAHO status as a Specialized Agency of ECOWAS and describes the organization’s mission as ‘the attainment of the highest possible standard and protection.’[21]

The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing in West Africa (GIABA)[edit]

The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) was established on 10th December 1999 by the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS. The main focus area of GIABA at inception was the protection of West African economies and financial systems against Money Laundering.[22]

Sporting and cultural exchange[edit]

ECOWAS nations organize a broad array of cultural and sports event under the auspices of the body, including the "CEDEAO Cup in "football, the "2012 ECOWAS Games and the Miss CEDEAO "beauty pageant.[23]

Economic Integration[edit]

West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) [edit]

  ECOWAS only ("Cape Verde)

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, mainly francophone West African states within the ECOWAS, that was dominated otherwise by anglophone heavyweights like Nigeria and Ghana.[24] It was established to promote "economic integration among countries that share the "CFA franc as a common currency. UEMOA was created by a Treaty signed at "Dakar, "Senegal, on 10 January 1994, by the heads of state and governments of "Benin, "Burkina Faso, "Côte d'Ivoire, "Mali, "Niger, "Senegal, and "Togo. On 2 May 1997, "Guinea-Bissau, a former "Portuguese colony, became the organization's eighth (and only non-"Francophone) member state.

UEMOA is a "customs union and "currency union between the members of ECOWAS. Its objectives include the following:[25]

Among its achievements, the UEMOA has successfully implemented macro-economic convergence criteria and an effective surveillance mechanism. It has adopted a customs union and "common external tariff and has combined indirect taxation regulations, in addition to initiating regional structural and sectoral policies. A September 2002 IMF survey cited the UEMOA as "the furthest along the path toward integration" of all the regional groupings in Africa.[26]

ECOWAS and UEMOA have developed a common plan of action on trade liberalisation and macroeconomic policy convergence. The organizations have also agreed on common rules of origin to enhance trade, and ECOWAS has agreed to adopt UEMOA's "customs declaration forms and compensation mechanisms.[27]


ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development headquarters in Lome.

West African Monetary Zone[edit]

Formed in 2000, the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) is a group of six countries within ECOWAS that plan to introduce a common currency called the "Eco.[28] The six member states of WAMZ are "Gambia, "Ghana, "Guinea, "Nigeria and "Sierra Leone who founded the organization together in 2000 and "Liberia who joined on 16 February 2010. Apart from Guinea, which is Francophone, they are all English-speaking countries. Along with "Mauritania, Guinea opted out of the "CFA franc currency shared by all other former French colonies in "West and "Central Africa.

The WAMZ attempts to establish a strong stable currency to rival the CFA franc, whose exchange rate is tied to that of the Euro and is guaranteed by the French Treasury. 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.



A Trans-ECOWAS project, established in 2007, plans to upgrade railways in this zone.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ African Union
  2. ^ Data. "GDP, PPP (current international $) | Table". World Bank. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  3. ^ Data. "GNI per capita, PPP (current international $) | Table". World Bank. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Data. "GDP (current US$) | Table". World Bank. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Adeyemi, Segun (6 August 2003). "West African Leaders Agree on Deployment to Liberia". Jane's Defence Weekly. 
  6. ^ "The 5 previous West African military interventions". Yahoo News. AFP. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Pazzanita, Anthony (2008). Historical Dictionary of Mauritania. "Scarecrow Press. pp. 177–178. "ISBN "978-0-8108-6265-4. 
  8. ^ https://www.diplomatie.ma/Politique%C3%A9trang%C3%A8re/Afrique/tabid/136/vw/1/ItemID/14476/language/en-US/Default.aspx?platform=hootsuite
  9. ^ "Togolese president Faure Gnassingbe takes the reins of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government". 2017-06-07. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  10. ^ a b c "Population 2015" (PDF). "World Bank. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c "Gross domestic product 2015" (PDF). "World Bank. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  12. ^ a b c "Gross domestic product 2015, PPP" (PDF). "World Bank. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c "Demographic Yearbook – Population by sex, annual rate of population increase, surface area and density" (PDF). United Nations Statistics Division. 2012. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  14. ^ "Profile of the President, Jean-Claude Kassi BROU | ECOWAS Commission". www.comm.ecowas.int. Retrieved 2018-06-10. 
  15. ^ About Us - ECOWAS Parliament, accessed 6 March 2017 Archived 7 March 2017 at the "Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "Community Parliament | Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS)". www.ecowas.int. Retrieved 2018-06-11. 
  17. ^ "ECOWAS Commission | Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS)". www.ecowas.int. Retrieved 2018-06-11. 
  18. ^ Bensah, Emmanuel K. (24 July 2013). "Communicating the ECOWAS Message (4): A New Roadmap for the Ouedraogo Commission(1)". Modernghana.com. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  19. ^ a b ECOWAS (2007) Information Manual: The Institutions of the Community ECOWAS Archived 30 October 2008 at the "Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ "ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) | Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS)". www.ecowas.int. Retrieved 2018-06-14. 
  21. ^ "West African Health Organisation (WAHO) | Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS)". www.ecowas.int. Retrieved 2018-06-14. 
  22. ^ "The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing in West Africa (GIABA) | Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS)". www.ecowas.int. Retrieved 2018-06-14. 
  23. ^ "Miss ECOWAS 2010". The Economist. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  24. ^ Fau-Nougaret (ed.), Matthieu (2012). "La concurrence des organisations régionales en Afrique". Paris: L'Harmattan. 
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2008.  REGIONAL INTEGRATION AND COOPERATION IN WEST AFRICA A Multidimensional Perspective, Chapter 1. Introduction: Reflections on an Agenda for Regional Integration and Cooperation in West Africa
  26. ^ "Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)" fact sheet from the US Department of State's Bureau of African Affairs
  27. ^ "Annual Report on Integration in Africa 2002" All Africa, 1 March 2002
  28. ^ "Common West Africa currency: ECO in 2015". MC Modern Ghana. 
  29. ^ "The Supplementary Wamz Payment System Development Project the Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia". Africa Development Bank Group. 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  30. ^ "WAMZ gets US$7.8 million grant". Accra Daily Mail. 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  31. ^ Proposed Ecowas railway Archived 24 October 2009 at the "Wayback Machine.. railwaysafrica.com.

External links[edit]

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