The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Economic Community of West African States

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional group of fifteen countries, founded on May 28, 1975 when 15 West African countries signed the Treaty of Lagos. Its mission is to promote economic integration.

It was founded to achieve "collective self-sufficiency" for the member states by means of economic and monetary union creating a single large trading bloc. The very slow progress towards this aim meant that the treaty was revised towards a looser collaboration. The ECOWAS Secretariat and the Fund for Cooperation, Compensation and Development are its two main institutions to implement policies.

Member states of ECOWAS are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. The current executive secretary is Lansana Kouyate .

In 2002, Mauritania left the organization.

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Last updated: 10-19-2005 17:47:04
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46