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Free Movement of Goods and Capital in the Economic Community of West African States: Myth or Reality?


This article seeks to examine the birth of ECOWAS and its progress in seeking for economic cooperation amongst the West African sub-region. The paper is a further pointer to the fact that besides ECOWAS, which assist in the facilitation of movement of goods, capital in the community, other schemes such as the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAMU) has equally been put in place to compliment the role of ECOWAS. The writer identifies the problem of corruption and faulty implementation of the protocols/treaty as the main perennial problems facing the community. The article identifies the fact of balkanization of the African continent by the forces of colonialism and the weak structures associated with these states necessitated the need for current leaders in West Africa to commit themselves to the objectives of economic integration and the development of the sub-region. The writer ended on a concluding note that ECOWAS as a concept has retained its attraction. But the pertinent question over the years has been how to actualize this potential. This paper has adduced many reasons for the sorry pass the region has been trapped in. It is the considered opinion of the writer of this article that so long as the treaty exists on paper, all hope is not lost. 


Tariff, customs, common currency, monetary union policy

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