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ECOWAS and Economic Integration in West Africa


  • Juliet Elu

    (Spelman College)


Can integration be the answer to economic growth and development in West Africa? With the changing dynamics of multilateral trade, it is probable to think that integration would serve as a catalyst for development and prosperity for West Africa. Regional integration has become an attractive option for both developed and developing countries as a means of improving their international market share. This papers examines regional integration within the West African region and the revitalization of Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) in promoting regional trade. Regional integration generally allows participating members to enjoy a free trade zone and encourage flow of goods with no trade restrictions. West African countries have not yet recovered from the global recession of the 1980s. Even though they embarked on World bank and IMF for assistance, policies imposed on these countries have marginally promoted growth and development in the region. As the rest of the World continues to form regional trading blocs, it is imperative for Est. African countries to empower and strengthen ECOWAS to help facilitate integration within the border. Regional integration within the West African border seems to be the best alternative for sustained economic growth in the new millennium.

Suggested Citation

  • Juliet Elu, 1998. "ECOWAS and Economic Integration in West Africa," Journal of African Development, African Finance and Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 149-169.
  • Handle: RePEc:afe:journl:v:3:y:1998:i:1:p:149-169

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