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Economic Community of West African States

  • 11 Aug 2023
  • 3 min read

Source: IE

Why in News?

Recently, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has emerged at the forefront of international attention due to its active involvement in addressing the aftermath of the coup in Niger.

  • This coup, which ousted the democratically elected President and ushered in a military coup, has raised alarm bells globally.

What is the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)?

  • About:
    • The ECOWAS, also known as CEDEAO in French, is a regional intergovernmental organization established in 1975.
    • Created through the Lagos Treaty, ECOWAS aims to foster economic integration, cooperation, and development among West African nations.
    • The Secretariat, headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria.
  • Member States:
    • ECOWAS consists of 15 member states: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’ Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Togo.
  • Primary Goals and Objectives:
    • Promoting economic integration among member states.
    • Facilitating the free movement of people, goods, and services.
    • Enhancing regional cooperation in various sectors, including industry, transport, energy, and finance.
    • Fostering a borderless region governed by democratic principles, the rule of law, and good governance.
    • Addressing security and political challenges through collaboration and conflict resolution.
  • Achievements and Initiatives:
    • The establishment of a regional peacekeeping force known as the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), which played pivotal roles in resolving conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone during the 1990s and early 2000s.
    • Launching the ECOWAS Single Currency Initiative to create a common currency, fostering economic integration and trade.
    • Supporting efforts to combat terrorism, human trafficking, and organized crime through joint initiatives and collaboration.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question:

Q. In the recent years Chad, Guinea, Mali and Sudan caught international attention for which one of the following reasons is common to all of them? (2023)

(a) Discovery of rich deposits of rare earth elements
(b) Establishment of Chinese military bases
(c) Southward expansion of Sahara Desert
(d) Successful coups

Ans: (d)

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