Ecowas Regional Economic Integration After Four Decades: How Integrated Are We?


Uko E. Uwak


Department of Political Science & Public Administration

University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria




This paper examined how the implementation of ECOWAS treaties and policies impacts on free movement of goods and trade as well as regional industrial development among member states in the region. The objectives of this paper were to examine the extent to which Free Trade Areas and Common External Tariffs impact on the free movement of goods and services as well as examine the contribution of the West African Common Industrial Policy (WACIP) on regional industrial development in the region. To achieve the objectives of this paper, the historical and descriptive methods were adopted. Hence, data was obtained through secondary sources. The findings of this paper amongst others were that the efforts of the regional body to promote free movement of goods and service among members’ states though encouraging, has met with a number of constraints that has made it necessary for the policy makers to think out of the box on the best way to achieve this all important objective with less difficulty. Based on the above findings, it was recommended among others that hindrances to trade within the sub-region should be removed through genuine efforts by members. Excessive bottlenecks at borders should be avoided to ensure that the objective of free movement of goods is achieved.


Key words: Free Trade Areas (FTAs); Economic Integration; Regionalisation

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