ECOWAS – The Economic Community of West African States

Linked with Ruth Sando Perry – Liberia, and with The Perry Center.

The Economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS) is a regional organization of 15 west African nations formed in 1975. There were 16 nations in the group until recently when Mauritania withdrew membership from ECOWAS. The main objective of forming ECOWAS was to achieve economic integration and shared development so as to form a unified economic zone in West Africa. Later on, the scope was increased to include socio- political interactions and mutual development in related spheres. When ECOWAS was registered in Nigeria in May 1975, there were 15 members in the organization to start with. In 1976, Cape Verde joined ECOWAS as 16th member. In 2002, Mauritania left the organization. Currently, there are 15 member countries in the organization. The membership list include the following countries. Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

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