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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Comparative Perspective: The Lessons of Asian, Caribbean, and Latin American Integration,

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In 1975 fifteen West African States signed the treaty creating the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS. The signatories were Benin, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Upper Volta. Although the launching of ECOWAS represented one of the most recent of numerous examples of regional integration among developing countries, it was the culmination of a long and complex history of West African economic cooperation dating to the colonial era and continuing today in a broad range of institutional manifestations. The size, diversity, and economic and political importance of the countries comprising this grouping mean that the ultimate success or failure of ECOWAS will have major repercussions on the African Continent and beyond. It is certainly too early to make any judgements concerning the performance of ECOWAS, but it is possible to specify some of the ingredients for eventual success based on lessons learned from other regional integration experiences around the world. A comparative perspective for the assessment of ECOWASs chances for success is provided by empirical and theoretical study of a wide range of integration schemes in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.

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  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science

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