, Vol 2, No 2 (2011)

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REGIONAL INTEGRATION IN AFRICA: THE CASE OF ECOWAS

Adejuwon Kehinde David

Abstract


Regional integration in the modern interdependent world has become more pervasive and complex than ever before, a product of various permutations and the outcome of many and varied forces. In Africa, it has a fairly long history, and in some sub-regions predating independence. The paper notes that over the past two and half decades, West African States have been enmeshed in the struggle to attain sustainable economic development and self reliance through regional integration. It observes that despite the consensus that regional integration efforts in Africa registered disappointing results; the enthusiasm to revitalize existing groupings seems to have gained renewed momentum in recent years. It describe and explain ECOWAS failure in its economic integration programmes as a logical consequence of the seemingly incongruity and obvious incompatibility between the long-term challenges of regional economic integration programmes and the urgent national challenges faced by member states. It argues that regional integration in Africa could at best be regarded as 'work in progress', en route to deeper regional integration and creating greater cooperation and more welfare, security and stability in the fields of politics, economics, security and culture. Compared to the EU, often cited as model for African integration, the continental process is still in its rudimentary stages. Thus, Africans need to take integration not only as lingering pan-African ideology but more importantly as economic survival strategy aimed at combating marginalization from the global economy. It concludes that ECOWAS must seek greater cooperation with the industrialized economies and donor countries with the aim of expanding possibilities for enhanced development assistance within the national domains of member states and in the region wide integration programme. 

 

KEYWORDS: Integration, Regional Integration, Conflict, Liberalization and Market integration


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