Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
- West African bloc ECOWAS is set to hold discussions about Niger after the junta defies the deadline.
- The Economic Community of West African States is a regional political and economic union of fifteen countries located in West Africa.
- Goal: To achieve “collective self-sufficiency” for its member states by creating a single large trade bloc by building a full economic and trading union.
- Origin: 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.
- Members: The 15 members of the ECOWAS are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
- West African Economic and Monetary Union is an organisation of eight, mainly French-speaking, states within ECOWAS which share a customs union and currency union.
- West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ): It was established in 2000, comprises six mainly English-speaking countries within ECOWAS which plan to work towards adopting their own common currency, the eco.
- Geographic: The bloc represents West Africa’s regional cooperation as envisaged in the Treaty of the African Economic Community.
- Economic: It promotes economic cooperation among member states in order to raise living standards and promote economic development.
- Strategic: ECOWAS has worked to address security issues by developing a peacekeeping force for conflicts 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.