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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.[13]

Community Parliament[edit]

The Community Parliament consists of 115 members, distributed based on the population of each member state.[14] This body is headed by the Speaker of the Parliament, who is above the Secretary General.

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

Expanded ECOWAS Commission[edit]

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)[15]

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.[16] 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.[16]

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.[17]

Economic integration[edit]

West African Economic and Monetary Union[edit]

CFA franc and "Economic and monetary union
  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.[18] 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:[19]

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.[20]

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.[21]


ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development headquarters in Lome.

West African Monetary Zone[edit]

Eco (currency)

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.[22] 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.[25]


NSA surveillance[edit]

Global surveillance disclosure

Documents leaked by "Edward Snowden showed in December 2013 that British and American intelligence agencies surveillance targets with America's "National Security Agency (NSA) included organizations such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the "United Nations Development Programme, the UN's children's charity "UNICEF and "Médecins Sans Frontières.[26]

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. ^ a b "Population 2015" (PDF). "World Bank. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "Gross domestic product 2015" (PDF). "World Bank. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "Gross domestic product 2015, PPP" (PDF). "World Bank. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "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. 
  13. ^ "Profile: Economic Community of West African States" (PDF). Africa Union. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  14. ^ About Us - ECOWAS Parliament, accessed 6 March 2017
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ a b ECOWAS (2007) Information Manual: The Institutions of the Community ECOWAS
  17. ^ "Miss ECOWAS 2010". The Economist. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  18. ^ Fau-Nougaret (ed.), Matthieu (2012). "La concurrence des organisations régionales en Afrique". Paris: L'Harmattan. 
  19. ^ [1] 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
  20. ^ "Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)" fact sheet from the US Department of State's Bureau of African Affairs
  21. ^ "Annual Report on Integration in Africa 2002" All Africa, 1 March 2002
  22. ^ "Common West Africa currency: ECO in 2015". MC Modern Ghana. 
  23. ^ "The Supplementary Wamz Payment System Development Project the Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia". Africa Development Bank Group. 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  24. ^ "WAMZ gets US$7.8 million grant". Accra Daily Mail. 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  25. ^ Proposed Ecowas railway. railwaysafrica.com.
  26. ^ GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief The Guardian 20 December 2013

External links[edit]

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