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The Mano River Union at 40: from customs liberalisation to confidence building


  • Peter Walkenhorst
  • Jean-Christophe Maur


The Mano River Union of Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone is turning 40. The MRU was founded in October 1973 with the principal aim of advancing economic development through trade integration. The organisation largely ceased activities during the civil wars that engulfed its founding members Liberia and Sierra Leone from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. The violent conflicts highlighted the importance of a broader mandate covering peace, security, good governance, and inclusiveness for regional development when the MRU was formally reactivated in 2004 and restarted operations since 2008. The organisation's focus is nowadays largely on enhancing peace and security in border regions in order to re-establish the foundations for cross-border commerce and investment. Going forward, the union could additionally play a useful role in the regional coordination of mining activities, the spearheading of trade facilitation initiatives, and the collection of consistent policy information and statistics.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Walkenhorst & Jean-Christophe Maur, 2014. "The Mano River Union at 40: from customs liberalisation to confidence building," African Journal of Economic and Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(2), pages 89-102.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ajesde:v:3:y:2014:i:2:p:89-102

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