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Homepage: ecowas.int

Member states: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

Central texts:

Treaty of Lagos (Signed 28 May 1975)

Revised Treaty of Cotonou (Signed 24 July 1993)

Main institutions:

(Source: ecowas.int on Governance Structures)


Declared goals

(Source: Treaty of Lagos Article 3)

a) the harmonisation and co-ordination of national policies and the promotion of integration programmes, projects and activities, particularly in food, agriculture and natural resources, industry, transport and communications, energy, trade, money and finance, taxation, economic reform policies, human resources, education, information, culture, science, technology, services, health, tourism, legal matters;
b) the harmonisation and co-ordination of policies for the protection of the   environment;
c) the promotion of the establishment of joint production enterprises;
d) the establishment of a common market through:

i) the liberalisation of trade by the abolition, among Member States, of customs duties levied on imports and exports, and the abolition among Member States, of non-tariff barriers in order to establish a free trade area at the Community level;
ii) the adoption of a common external tariff and a common trade policy vis-a-vis third countries;
iii)  the removal, between Member States, of obstacles to the free movement of persons, goods, service and capital, and to the right of residence and establishment;
e) the establishment of an economic union through the adoption of common policies in the economic, financial social and cultural sectors, and the creation of a monetary union.
f) the promotion of joint ventures by private sectors enterprises and other economic operators, in particular through the adoption of a regional agreement on cross-border investments;
g) the adoption of measures for the integration of the private sectors, particularly the creation   of an enabling environment to promote small and medium scale enterprises;
h) the establishment of an enabling legal environment;
i) the harmonisation of national investment codes leading to the adoption of a single Community investment code;
j) the harmonisation of standards and measures;
k) the promotion of balanced development of the region, paying attention to the special problems of each Member State particularly those of landlocked and small island Member States;
l) the encouragement and strengthening of relations and the promotion of the flow of information particularly among rural populations, women and youth organisations and socio-professional organisations such as associations of the media, business men and women, workers, and trade unions;
m) the adoption of a Community population policy which takes into account the need for a balance between demographic factors and socioeconomic development;
n) the establishment of a fund for co-operation, compensation and development; and
o) any other activity that Member States may decide to undertake jointly with a view to attaining Community objectives.


Other institutions


Adopted measures