The ECOWAS and the of Integration in the West African Sub-Region

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The ECOWAS and the  of Integration in the West African Sub-Region

ABSTRACT

The founding fathers of the ECOWAS were very fundamentally clear as to the primary objectives of the over 40-year old regional body, yet despite this mission clarity, and the ‘numerous efforts’ and strategies put in place, the ECOWAS is replete with several examples of failures or ‘mere near successes’ in the integration process. The lofty dreams of creating an ECOWAS of people against an ECOWAS of states have over the last three or four decades remained largely elusive. This study titled – An Evaluative Study of the ECOWAS Coalition and the Management of Regional Integration in West Africa – 1985 – 2019, represents a modest attempt at appraising the difficulties faced by the integration process, more so, in terms of the creation of one unified economic entity, with the soul objective of improving the life of West Africans. Salient issues such as those bordering on regional security, governance crises, and institutional incompetence have been noted as fundamental impediments in the process of West African regional integration. The study has also extensively deployed varied techniques and methodologies such as questionnaire administration on a sampled population amongst borderland communities in Nigeria and Niger Republic. Questionnaires were also administered on other more informed citizens of the Community. In addition, notably recognized individuals vital to some aspects of the integration processes were also sampled for interview. Empirical observations coupled with other sources of secondary data were also extensively utilized in the effort to more closely appreciate other ECOWAS integration dynamics, factors such as those of neo-colonization and challenges of regional insecurity amongst others. In terms analysis of data, frequencies and simple percentages were portrayed in tabulated forms and from these, the study was able to draw its own conclusions and in some cases the study was able to positively reinforce other scholarly opinions. In concluding our study, we noted that the process of ECOWAS integration especially in the economic sphere has just began, adding that Nigeria being the leading regional economy by way of recommendation ought to re-establish its leadership position in all aspects of ECOWAS unification and for ECOWAS to achieve its lofty objectives the study further recommended an elaborate involvement of the general citizenry, the informal sector of the economy and very importantly the organized private sector. The study found it strongly expedient to recommend the facilitation and promotion of a second monetary zone in order to ease negotiation with the CFA Zone as a step towards the emergence of one single currency

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