Cross-border Co-operation and Policy Networks in West Africa

image of Cross-border Co-operation and Policy Networks in West Africa

This publication examines how policy actors involved in cross-border co-operation contribute to the regional integration process in West Africa. It uses a pioneering methodology, known as social network analysis, to visualise the formal and informal relationships between actors involved in cross-border policy networks, showing that borders have notable and diverse impacts on exchanges of information and the relative power of networks. The report then analyses a range of regional indicators of co-operation potential, visually demonstrating that borders can also affect the ability of sub-regions within West Africa to develop cross-border initiatives in a number of ways. Combining these two analyses with the perceptions of regional policy makers as to which border areas they consider as priorities for regional integration, the publication concludes with the analytical foundations for more effective place-based policies that can enhance cross-border co-operation in West Africa.

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Integration in West Africa: The institutional landscape

Sahel and West Africa Club

Focussing on the institutions operating in West Africa, Chapter 6 examines the diversity of organisations involved in regional integration1. Analyses of cross-border co-operation networks are performed at both the macro level, covering the 15 countries of ECOWAS as well as Cameroon, Chad and Mauritania, and in three specific micro-regions that share resources. The chapter also highlights the formal and informal relationships that exist between institutions, what structural constraints limit their exchanges of information, what the impact of national borders is on the regional construction process, and how these factors, amongst others, have contributed to the differing levels of regional integration evident across West Africa.

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