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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.
The Community Parliament consists of 115 members, distributed based on the population of each member state. This body is headed by the Speaker of the Parliament, who is above the Secretary General.
Expanded ECOWAS Commission
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)
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. 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.
Sporting and cultural exchange
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.
West African Economic and Monetary Union
CFA franc and "Economic and monetary union
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. 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:
- Greater economic competitiveness, through open markets, in addition to the rationalisation and harmonisation of the legal environment
- The convergence of macro-economic policies and indicators
- The creation of a common market
- The co-ordination of sectoral policies
- The harmonisation of fiscal policies
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.
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.
ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development headquarters in Lome.
West African Monetary Zone
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. 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.
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.
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- ^ Proposed Ecowas railway. railwaysafrica.com.
- ^ GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief The Guardian 20 December 2013
- West-African Monetary Institute
- UEMOA Official Web Site (In French)
- WAEMU Treaty
- ECOWAS Official Web Site
- ECOWAS Commission Official Web Site: includes calendar of meetings.
- ECOWAS Parliament
- ECOWAS Revised Treaty
- ECOBANK—African banking group, present in thirty (30) countries on the "African continent plus "France in "Europe. ECOBANK's Initial Public Offer of eight million plus shares in Accra, Ghana in May 2006 was oversubscribed. The listing of this IPO, landed ECOBANK on the "Ghana Stock Exchange. As of December 2009, ECOBANK stock is also listed on the "Nigeria Stock Exchange and on the "Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières ("BRVM), the stock exchange of "Francophone West African countries in "Abidjan, "Ivory Coast.
- More About Ecobank
- PowerPoint presentation of ECOWAS, 2004
- Mbendi profile
- Security by proxy? The EU and (sub-)regional organisations: the case of ECOWAS, by Bastien Nivet, Occasional Paper No. 63, March 2006, "European Union Institute for Security Studies
- More About the newly-expanded ECOWAS Commission
- More About an ECOWAS Commissioner
- ECOWAS document in "World Bank's "World Integrated Trade Solution *GPTAD database library