OECD Development Centre Working Papers

The OECD Development Centre links OECD members with developing and emerging economies and fosters debate and discussion to seek creative policy solutions to emerging global issues and development challenges. This series of working papers is intended to disseminate the OECD Development Centre’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned. These papers are generally available in the original English or French, with a summary in the other language.

English, French

Regional Integration in West Africa

ECOWAS, the Economic Community of Western Africa States, was set up in 1975 by 16 countries with the ultimate objective of forming an economic community. As in similar RTAs, that were best thought as extensions of ISI, early results have been rather discouraging, but the process of domestic liberalisation and trade reform initiated in the late 1980s led in 1992 to a new attempt to revamp the Community. There are at least two very interesting features of ECOWAS that indeed makes it a very interesting case study for the project. First, two of the most relevant Emerging Africa countries are located in the sub-region, namely Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, as is Nigeria, still embroiled in many economic woes, but that is regularly considered alongside South Africa as the key country to sustain the renaissance of Africa. Exploring how the smaller partners can provide a stimulus to Nigeria is therefore a first goal of the study. Second, the ineffectiveness of ECOWAS cannot mask the rich web of ...


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