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ECOWAS

Map showing the location of ECOWAS in the world, since May 2007.

HistoryEdit

OverviewEdit

ECOWAS

Map showing the location of ECOWAS in the world since May 2007.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS; French: Communauté économique des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest, CEDEAO) is a regional group of fifteen West African countries. It was founded on the 28th of May 1975, with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos, its mission is to promote economic integration across the region.

Considered one of the pillars of the African Economic Community, the organization was founded in order to achieve "collective self-sufficiency" for its member states by creating a single large trading bloc through an economic and trading union. It also serves as a peacekeeping force in the region. The organization operates officially in three co-equal languages: French, English, and Portuguese.

The ECOWAS consists of two institutions to implement policies—the ECOWAS Commission and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, 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 Mauritania withdrew in December 2000 having announced its intention to do so in December 1999.

ConceptEdit

It was inspired by the forming of the EEC and EU.

FoundationEdit

It was founded on the 28th of  May 1975, with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos.

Present dayEdit

MembersEdit

Current membersEdit

  1. Benin
  2. Burkina Faso
  3. Cape Verde
  4. Gambia
  5. Ghana
  6. Guinea
  7. Guinea-Bissau
  8. Ivory Coast
  9. Liberia
  10. Mali
  11. Niger
  12. Nigeria
  13. Senegal
  14. Sierra Leone
  15. Togo

Former membersEdit

Mauritania, withdrew in December 2000.

Expatiation plansEdit

There are none as yet.

StructureEdit

President of the Commission, current and formerEdit

From 1977 to 2006 the post name was Executive Secretary.
  • Aboubakar Diaby Ouattara (Côte d'Ivoire) 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
  • Mohammed Ibn Chambas (Ghana) 1 February 2002 – 31 December 2006
  • Mohammed Ibn Chambas (Ghana) 1 January 2007 – 18 February 2010
  • Victor Gbeho|James 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 – Present

ChairmenEdit

  • Gnassingbé Eyadéma (Togo) 1977–1978
  • Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria) 1978–1979
  • Léopold Sédar Senghor (Senegal) 1979–1980
  • 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 (the Gambia) 1989–1990
  • Blaise Compaoré (Burkina Faso) 1990–1991
  • Dawda Jawara (the Gambia) 1991–1992
  • Abdou Diouf (Senegal) 1992–1993
  • Nicéphore Soglo (Benin) 1993–1994
  • Jerry Rawlings|Jerry John 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
  • Alpha Oumar Konaré (Mali) 1999 – 21 December 2001
  • Abdoulaye Wade (Senegal) 21 December 2001 – 31 January 2003
  • John Agyekum 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 (Côte d'Ivoire) 17 February 2012 – 28 March 2014
  • John Dramani Mahama (Ghana) 28 March 2014 – 19 May 2015
  • Macky Sall (Senegal) 19 May 2015 – 4 June 2016
  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia) 4 June 2016 – Present

Regional security cooperationEdit

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.

Expanded ECOWAS CommissionEdit

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 Community Court of JusticeEdit

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 exchangeEdit

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.

ECOWAS passportEdit

The ECOWAS passport is a common passport document. Some, but not all member states of the Economic Community of West African States have implemented the common design.

External economic and trade policiesEdit

The trade bloc has a policy of 

Brown card systemEdit

The Brown card system is established between most of the members of the ECOWAS and is applicable in Western Africa.

Participants are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The non-participating ECOWAS member is Cape Verde.

The Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) was a West African multilateral armed force established by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). ECOMOG was a formal arrangement for separate armies to work together. It was largely supported by personnel and resources of the Nigerian Armed Forces, with sub-battalion strength units contributed by other ECOWAS members — Guinea, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and others.

Economic Community of West African States Monitoring GroupEdit

The Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) was a West African multilateral armed force established by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). ECOMOG was a formal arrangement for separate armies to work together. It was largely supported by personnel and resources of the Nigerian Armed Forces, with sub-battalion strength units contributed by other ECOWAS members — Guinea, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and others.

Nigeria and other ECOWAS members agreed a Protocol on Mutual Defence Assistance, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on 29 May 1981. Among other organs such as a Defence Committee and Council, it provided for the establishment of an Allied Armed Force of the Community (AAFC) as needed.

Anglophone ECOWAS members established ECOMOG in 1990 to intervene in the civil war in Liberia (1989–96).

Within Africa, ECOMOG represented the first credible attempt at a regional security initiative since the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) tried to established an 'Inter-African Force' to intervene in Chad in 1981.

Anglophone members of ECOMOG acted in Liberia because several Francophone ECOWAS members strongly opposed the deployment. The leaders of Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire supported Charles Taylor in his attempt to depose Samuel Doe. Unlike the typical UN mission of its day, ECOMOG's first deployment entailed fighting its way into a many-sided civil war, in an attempt to forcibly hold the warring factions apart.

The first Force Commander was Ghanaian Lieutenant General Arnold Quainoo, but he was succeeded by an unbroken line of Nigerian officers. Major General Joshua Dogonyaro took over from Quainoo after Quainoo had left Monrovia for consultations with senior ECOWAS officials soon after the death of Samuel Doe at the hands of Prince Johnson's Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia on 9 September 1990.

In 1990, four Alpha Jets of the Nigerian Air Force were deployed in support of Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) forces stationed in Liberia, which were engaged in combat with the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) following an international intervention in the Liberian Civil War. In a series of strikes, these aircraft targeted and launched successful attacks upon Charles Taylor's HQ, rebel convoys and shipping, and gun emplacements at Roberts International Airport; the results of their intervention was judged by the New York Times to have given ECOMOG forces a decisive advantage in fire power.

In 1992, six Nigerian Alpha Jets were placed directly under ECOMOG command, and employed against the NPLF in an extensive campaign of air strikes, road interdictions missions, anti-shipping sorties, and night raids (a task which the Alpha Jet was not normally equipped to perform). They were even employed to deny access to key bridges in order to give ECOMOG ground forces time to capture them before they were sabotaged. In total, Alpha Jets flew approximately 3,000 combat missions in support of ECOMOG, sustaining no losses but incurring some damage from anti-aircraft artillery.

After some prompting from Charles Taylor that the Anglophone Nigerians were opposed to him, Senegalese troops were brought in with some financial support from the United States.

In 2003 ECOWAS, under pressure from the United States, launched a similar mission named ECOMIL to halt the occupation of Monrovia by rebel forces as peace efforts were ongoing, during the Second Liberian Civil War. Always intended as an interim force, it was quickly succeeded by the United Nations mission UNMIL.

  • ECOWAS deployed ECOMOG forces to control conflicts in other cases:
  1. 1992 - First Liberian Civil War.
  2. 1997 — Sierra Leone, to stop the RUF rebellion.
  3. 1999 — Guinea-Bissau, to end the Guinea-Bissau Civil War
  4. 2003 - Second Liberian Civil War.

Regional Economic integrationEdit

West African Economic and Monetary UnionEdit

UEMOA and Eco in ECOWAS

Green= UEMOA, red= WAMZ and blue= ECOWAS only Cape Verde.

ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development headquarters in Lomé

ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development headquarters in Lome.

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:

  1. Greater economic competitiveness, through open markets, in addition to the rationalization and harmonization of the legal environment
  2. The convergence of macro-economic policies and indicators
  3. The creation of a common market
  4. The coordination of sectoral policies
  5. The harmonization 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 liberalization 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.

MembersEdit

  1. Benin (Founding Member)
  2. Burkina Faso (Founding Member)
  3. Ivory Coast (Founding Member)
  4. Guinea-Bissau (Joined on 2 May 1997)
  5. Mali (Founding Member)
  6. Niger (Founding Member)
  7. Senegal (Founding Member)
  8. Togo (Founding Member)

West African Monetary ZoneEdit

Formed in 2000, the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) is a group of six countries within ECOWAS that plan to introduce a common currency, the Eco, by the year 2015. The six member states of WAMZ are Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone who founded the organisation 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.

MembersEdit

  1. Gambia (Founding Member)
  2. Ghana (Founding Member)
  3. Guinea (Founding Member)
  4. Liberia (Joined on 16 February 2010)
  5. Nigeria (Founding Member)
  6. Sierra Leone (Founding Member)

Planned single currencyEdit

The Eco is the proposed name for the common currency that the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) plans to introduce in the framework of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). After its introduction, the goal is to merge the new currency with the West African CFA franc (used by the French-speaking members of ECOWAS since 1945) at a later date. This will create a common currency for much of West Africa.

The ten ecanomic criteriaEdit

For the Eco to be implemented, ten criteria, set out by the West Africa Monetary Institute (WAMI), must be met. These criteria are known as the Four Primary Convergence Criteria and Six Secondary Convergence Criteria. Up to the fiscal year 2011, only Ghana have been able to meet all the primary criteria in any single fiscal year.

The four Primary Criteria to be achieved by each member country are:

  • A single-digit inflation rate at the end of each year
  • A fiscal deficit of no more than 4% of the GDP
  • A central bank deficit-financing of no more than 10% of the previous year’s tax revenues
  • Gross external reserves that can give import cover for a minimum of three months.

The six Secondary Criteria to be achieved by each member country are:

  • Prohibition of new domestic default payments and liquidation of existing ones.
  • Tax revenue should be equal to or greater than 20 percent of the GDP.
  • Wage bill to tax revenue equal to or less than 35 percent.
  • Public investment to tax revenue equal to or greater than 20 percent.
  • A stable real exchange rate.
  • A positive real interest rate.

TransportEdit

ECOWAS RailEdit

One of the goals of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is the development of an integrated railroad network.

Aims include the extension of railways in member countries, the interconnection of previously isolated railways and the standardisation of gauge, brakes, couplings, and other parameters.

The first line would connect the cities and ports of Lagos, Cotonou, Lomé and Accra and would allow the largest container ships to focus on a smaller number of large ports, while efficiently serving a larger hinterland. This line connects 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge and 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge systems, which would require four rail dual gauge, which can also provide standard gauge.

Railway gaugesEdit

  1. Benin Transport 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in)
  2. Ivory Coast Transport 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in)
  3. Burkina Faso Transport 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in)
  4. Gambia (nil)
  5. Ghana Transport 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) proposed conversion to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
  6. Guinea-Bissau (nil)
  7. Liberia Transport 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in); 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
  8. Niger (nil)
  9. Nigeria Transport 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in); 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
  10. Senegal Transport 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in)
  11. Mali Transport 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in)
  12. Sierra Leone Transport 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
  13. Togo Transport 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) (suspended)
  14. Guinea Transport 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in); 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)

Summary of different gaugesEdit

  • 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) 4,472 km 42.7%
  • 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 4,593 km 43.9%
  • 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) 1,409 km 13.5%

Railway techical standardsEdit

  • Brakes: Air brakes
  • Electification: 25kV AC
  • Couplings: vary
  • Brakes: mostly air

Other rail projectsEdit

The West Africa Regional Rail Integration is a proposal to connect up isolated railway networks in West Africa.

The Dakar-Port Sudan Railway is a 4,000 km long proposal which surfaced in 2008-2010 to link Dakar, Senegal with Port Sudan, Sudan by a transcontinental railway. It would pass through several countries along the way and would have branches to link capital cities not on the direct route.

It would go through the following countries:

  1. Senegal
  2. Mali
  3. Niger
  4. Chad
  5. Sudan

AfricaRail is a project to link the railway systems of Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin and Togo. These are all 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) gauge.

A future stage is proposed to link Mali, Senegal, which are also 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) gauge, and Nigeria and Ghana which are not.

NSA surveillance plotEdit

Documents of Edward Snowden showed in December 2013 that British and American intelligence agencies surveillance targets with America's National Security Agency (NSA) included organisations 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.

Inter-member backstabbing and alleged inactionsEdit

LanguagesEdit

Rivalry is growing between parts the Francophone and Anglophone community. It is a major issue in the near by state of Cameroon, which may break in 2 over it.

Nigeria uber alisEdit

Nigeria has been often accused on the international stage since the millennium of unfairly dominating it.

Liberian CrisisEdit

Anglophone members of ECOMOG acted in Liberia because several Francophone ECOWAS members strongly opposed the deployment. The leaders of Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire supported Charles Taylor in his attempt to depose Samuel Doe. Unlike the typical UN mission of its day, ECOMOG's first deployment entailed fighting its way into a many-sided civil war, in an attempt to forcibly hold the warring factions apart.

5 awesome ECOWAS national images!Edit

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Also seeEdit

  1. EU
  2. OPEC
  3. NATO
  4. ASEAN
  5. Cold War
  6. COMECON
  7. Arab League
  8. The 3rd World
  9. Gulf Co-operation Council
  10. Central American Integration System
  11. Council for Mutual Economic Assistance
  12. United Nations Security Council Resolution 218
  13. United Nations Security Council Resolution 275
  14. United Nations Security Council Resolution 204
  15. United Nations Security Council Resolution 178
  16. United Nations Security Council Resolution 289
  17. United Nations Security Council Resolution 275
  18. Southern African Development Community (SADC)
  19. Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
  20. Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
  21. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the CSCE)
  22. A synoptic chart of major intergovernmental organisations that exist in Africa

SourceEdit

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_Community_of_West_African_States
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eco_(currency)
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECOWAS_rail
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AfricaRail
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakar-Port_Sudan_Railway
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Africa_Regional_Rail_Integration
  7. http://nppusa.org/blogs/government_achievements/archive/2007/07/12/ghana-leads-in-railway-network-to-link-ecowas.aspx
  8. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Liberia#/1989_and_2003_civil_wars
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  12. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/ECOWAS_passport
  13. http://www.uneca.org/oria/pages/ecowas-economic-community-west-african-states-0
  14. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Economic_Community_of_West_African_States
  15. http://www.au.int/en/recs/ecowas
  16. http://frontpageafricaonline.com/index.php/news/1861-bff-nudges-ecowas-states-on-pre-migration-preparedness
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  42. http://www.uemoa.int/
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