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Abstract: I consider it a singular honour to have been invited today by Chatham House
to address this august forum. The Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS), which I represent, is a regional organisation which has,
over the years, gained your attention only for the unfortunate reasons of state
implosion and instability caused by bad governance and marginalisation. I
therefore welcome the opportunity to throw further light on its objectives,
challenges, and achievements, which factors have effectively brought
together fifteen West African states in the enterprise of improving upon the
living standards of 230 million people as well as integrating them.
The term ‘Chatham House Rule’ is today an internationally-accepted cliché
that this Institute has contributed to international diplomacy discourse, a
reference norm in rigorous and policy-oriented exchanges on global peace
and security. I therefore view your invitation to lead today’s discourse about
‘Democracy in the context of Regional Integration in West Africa’ as an
unique honour for me personally, and a recognition of ECOWAS as a leading
brand in regional integration.
Ladies and gentlemen, the evolution of ECOWAS can only be properly
understood against the backdrop of the fascinating history and circumstances
of West Africa since establishing contact with the world beyond its borders.
The fact that slavery, colonialism, as well as racial and economic
marginalisation, had left an intrinsic yearning for freedom, unity and solidarity
among peoples of African descent everywhere defines its wish to integrate its
states and peoples.
Abstract: This special research report provides an analysis of a set of new issues that have been emerging in the West African subregion and possible implications for the Security Council in the coming year(s). It identifies some key emerging threats to peace and security in the 16-state subregion and their linkages to existing security challenges. The report points to a key feature: the fact that some of the new threats are essentially criminal rather than political in nature. However, it explains also the growing political and security implications. The report also highlights action already taken by the Council to recognise these threats and considers options available to the Council to tackle these issues going forward.
The raw material for the study was derived from literature research; field research in a number of countries in the West African subregion (including Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria); and interviews in the region with diplomats, government officials and officials of relevant international intergovernmental bodies (e.g. UN Office in West Africa or UNOWA, UN Office for Drugs and Crime or UNODC, the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS and the AU), NGOs and academics.
Abstract: This paper aims to appraise and map the security challenges that have faced West African countries since independence with a special focus on the period after 1990. It also assesses the efforts made by various national, regional, continental and extra-African actors and makes suggestions on how the shortcomings in these efforts could be improved. An effort is made to show the evolution of at least some of the challenges over the years, in the hope that this could contribute to a better formulation of policy responses.
The study is based on extensive review of existing literature, complemented by field research in the region undertaken in July and August 2010, in addition to general familiarity with the region from many previous research visits on related subjects.
Without neglecting other issues that could be considered as security threats, and without attempting any hierarchical ordering of these threats, the paper focuses on the following six major issues: i) armed conflict, ii) military coups and unconstitutional changes of government; iii) mismanagement of electoral processes; iv) transnational criminality, particularly drug trafficking, terrorism and maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea; v) poverty and illiteracy; vi) climate change and environmental degradation.
Abstract: Stepped up U.S. drug enforcement and interdiction in Latin America, coupled with a falling dollar and a surging demand for cocaine on the streets of Europe, is leading to political and economic chaos across West Africa, where international narco-traffickers have established their most recent, and lucrative, staging grounds. In fact, the drug trade is fast turning large parts of the region into areas that are all but ungovernable -- with major implications for international security. "The former Gold Coast is turning into the Coke Coast," said a 2008 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). "The problem is so severe that it is threatening to bring about the collapse of some West African states where weak and corrupt governments are vulnerable to the corrosive influence of drug money."
Though hardly alone in West Africa, Guinea-Bissau, the world's fifth poorest country, with a population of 1.5 million, has for all intents and purposes become the textbook example of the African "narco-state." Due to its relative proximity to South America, its hundreds of miles of unpatrolled coastline, islands and islets, along with the fact that Portuguese is its lingua franca, Guinea-Bissau has been increasingly targeted by South American drug lords as a preferred traffic hub for European-bound cocaine, according to the UNODC. What's more, as citizens of a former Portuguese colony, Guineans do not need visas to enter that EU country, further facilitating the movement of drugs.
Authorities there can do precious little about it. "Guinea-Bissau has lost control of its territory and cannot administer justice," declared Antonio Maria Costa, the UNODC executive director, in a statement before the U.N. Security Council in December. "There is a permeability of judicial systems and a corruptibility of institutions in West Africa," he added. "Guinea-Bissau is under siege. Literally under siege." Guinea-Bissau enjoys plenty of company among its neighbors: To varying degrees, Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Cape Verde, Guinea-Conakry, Togo, Benin, Senegal, South Africa, and other West African and sub-Saharan states (including already-challenged states like Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast and Liberia) are all beginning to feel the long reach of cocaine smuggling.
Abstract: La dernière décennie du XXe siècle a vu naître en Afrique de l’ouest des conflits armés d’un genre nouveau. Ce sont des batailles non rangées (chaotiques), sans objet politique clairement défini, où il est difficile de distinguer entre combattants et non combattants, et où les civils non armés constituent la majorité des victimes. Face à ces mutations de la violence, la diplomatie préventive, au sens classique du terme, se retrouve désorientée et impotente. Par voie de conséquences, les sociétés, les Etats et les institutions multilatérales à la recherche de voies innovatrices de sortie de crise, tentent de briser l’impasse du face à face entre chefs de gouvernement et chefs rebelle, en sollicitant notamment la société civile qui est désormais appelée à jouer un rôle que l’on espère déterminant dans l’éradication et la prévention de la violence. Compte tenu du nouvel environnement de violence en Afrique de l’ouest, cette option de diplomatie préventive au ras du sol est riche de promesses. Cependant, il serait sage de ne pas exagérer ses potentialités, de prendre la bonne mesure de ses capacités réelles et de s’y orienter avec lucidité, réalisme et bon sens.
Abstract: Le Bénin vit une situation sociopolitique apaisée depuis plus d’une décennie. La large concertation nationale qui s’est tenue du 19 au 28 février 1990 amis
fin à la profonde crise sociopolitique et économique que le pays subissait à la fin des années 80. Cette concertation, dite « Conférence nationale des forces
vives », a été la toute première du genre en Afrique. Elle a rassemblé autour d’une même table les différents courants d’opinion, les associations de développement des différentes localités du pays, les groupements professionnels et corps de métiers ainsi que les communautés religieuses. Elle a abouti à d’importantes résolutions, notamment i) l’instauration d’une démocratie libérale fondée sur le respect des libertés fondamentales de l’homme, ii) l’édification d’un État de droit et iii) l’adoption des principes d’une économie libérale.
Abstract: Le présent rapport fait la synthèse de la première grande étude continentale visant à mesurer et contrôler les « Progrès accomplis sur la voie de la bonne gouvernance en Afrique », entreprise par la Commission économique pour l’Afrique. Dans le cadre de cette étude, des enquêtes et des recherches ont été menées sur 28 pays. Les résultats complets et l’analyse de l’étude seront
publiés en 2005 dans le premier «Rapport sur la gouvernance en Afrique ».
La CEA a entrepris ce travail pour évaluer l’idée que les citoyens se font de l’état de la gouvernance en Afrique, pour rassembler des informations sur les meilleures pratiques et pour identifier les principaux besoins de la région en
matière de développement des capacités. Le projet a identifié quatre tendances positives sur la voie de la création d’États compétents en Afrique: transitions démocratiques, ouverture politique, liberté d’expression et obligation comptable, et gestion économique.
Abstract: Le Rapport sur la gouvernance en Afrique est le fruit de larges travaux de recherche sur les pratiques de gouvernance entrepris dans 27 pays africains par la Commission économique pour l’Afrique (CEA), par l’intermédiaire d’instituts nationaux de recherche, qui ont recueilli, ensemble par échantillonnage, les opinions de plus de 50 000 ménages et de 2 000 experts. Les conclusions, soumises à la CEA entre 2002 et 2004, ont fait l’objet d’un processus rigoureux d’examens auxquels ont participé des experts nationaux et internationaux travaillant sur la gouvernance et les questions politiques et économiques.
Ce rapport est la première grande étude de ce type initiée par les pays africains, qui vise à analyser de façon empirique les opinions des citoyens quant à l’état de la gouvernance dans leurs pays, tout en mettant en évidence les principaux déficits de capacité dans les pratiques et institutions de gouvernance et en recommandant des pratiques optimales et des solutions pour y faire face. On s’est attaché à assurer l’appropriation locale de l’ensemble empirique de résultats afin de renforcer l’efficacité et la légitimité de la prise de décisions et de l’effort de sensibilisation aux niveaux national et infrarégional. Les données ainsi générées peuvent être utilisées pour mesurer la performance des gouvernements et de toutes les principales parties prenantes dans leur réponse aux préoccupations exprimées par les citoyens et pour suivre la mesure dans laquelle le contrat qu’ils ont passé entre eux est respecté. Nous avons pris soin de ne pas être trop directif. Le Rapport sur la gouvernance en Afrique contient des recommandations qui découlent essentiellement des réalités propres aux pays, car, pour être durable, la gouvernance doit être replacée dans son contexte et internalisée.
Abstract: Ce rapport contient des résumés sur les régions suivants: Afrique australe, Afrique de l’Est, Afrique de l’Ouest et Afrique centrale, et Afrique centrale, et aussi sur les thèmes suivantes: le double défi de la tuberculose et du VIH, circonsion masculine et préventions du VIH, epidémies latentes parmi les hommes ayant des rapports sexuels avec des hommes, la consommation de drogues injectables: un facteur croissant dans plusiers épidémies de VIH de L'Afrique Subsaharienne, et signes de changements vers des comportements à moindre risque.
Abstract: Chaque fois que la situation des approvisionnements menace de se détériorer dans un pays ou une région donnée, des alertes spéciales attirent l'attention des gouvernements et organismes d'aide sur l’évolution de la situation et les éventuelles mesures d'urgence à prendre. Les Rapports spéciaux sont généralement le résultat de missions d'évaluation sur le terrain et présentent un état des lieux détaillé de la situation agricole et alimentaire. Ils sont publiés par le Système Mondial d'Information et d'Alerte Rapide de la FAO.
Une Mission conjointe CILSS/FAO/FEWSNet/SIMA/PAM d'évaluation des marchés s'est rendu sur des marchés céréaliers clés du Bénin, du Niger et du Nigéria du 13 février au 9 mars, afin d'estimer les stocks actuels et le niveau des prix ainsi que le flux des échanges au sein des pays et entre eux, et d'analyser les implications pour la sécurité alimentaire des pays les plus vulnérables.
Abstract: L’adaptation aux changements climatiques passe par la participation des paysans et l’information. Dans cette optique, un projet de rechercheaction au Bénin vise à réduire la vulnérabilité des agriculteurs et à améliorer la sécurité alimentaire.
Abstract: In September 2003, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) initiated a
project aimed at improving the level of information available on trafficking in human beings
within, to and from Benin, Nigeria and Togo, and to recommend measures to strengthen
action to counter the problem. The study included extensive research activities in each of the
three countries. A number of factors contribute to the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings, in
particular children, in West Africa. Predominant among these are poverty, large family size,
lack of educational opportunities and lack of employment. Other factors facilitating
trafficking in persons in Benin, Nigeria and Togo include ignorance on the part of families
and children of the risks involved in trafficking, the high demand for cheap and submissive
child labour in the informal economic sector, the desire of youth for emancipation through
migration, institutional lapses such as inadequate political commitment, non-existent national
legislation against trafficking in human beings, and the absence of a judicial framework
allowing for the perpetrators and accomplices of trafficking to be held responsible and
punished for their acts. Other contributory factors in trafficking in persons in the region
include porous borders, corrupt government officials, involvement of international organized
crime groups or networks, limited capacity of or commitment by immigration and law
enforcement officers to control trafficking at the borders and lack of political will or desire to
enforce existing legislation or mandates.
Abstract: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS/CEDEAO) is well known for its military intervention in Liberia and Sierra Leone. ECOWAS was created in 1975 to replace the Customs Union of West African States originally created in 1959 to redistribute customs duties collected by the coastal states of West Africa. The Treaty on the Economic Community of West African States was revised at the Cotonou Summit of July 1993 to replace the inexistent Tribunal originally envisioned with a Community Court of Justice.
Abstract: The Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA) is the court of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), one of the most successful regional legal harmonization efforts on the Continent. Unlike the other continental regional integration groups, OHADA does not seek to conform national law to an overarching treaty and successive regulations and directives, which allow national legislature some leeway. Instead, OHADA uses the integration method of issuing binding uniform acts that automatically supercede all prior and future inconsistent national laws. With the goal of creating a secure, simple and modern legal framework for the conduct of business in Africa, OHADA has issued eight uniform acts on general commercial law, commercial companies and economic interest groups, securities, arbitration, simplified recovery procedures and measures of execution, collective insolvency and accounting.
Abstract: The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) was established when the CFA was devalued in order to ensure coherent monetary and economic policy among the states of the CFA zone. The Court of Justice is intended to assist in the enforcement of that coherence. The Court of Justice, alongside the Court of Auditors, functions as the juridical arm of WAEMU, with automatic jurisdiction over all Member States of the Union. Avoiding the perennial delays seen in the entry into force of the Protocol Establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, the Treaty provided that the Protocol on the Court would be an integral part of the Treaty with no need for ratifications. Addressing further the Continental problem of implementation, the Treaty required that the Court come into being within six months of the Treaty entering into force. With financial help from France and the European Union, these Treaty provisions were fulfilled and the first judges of the Court were sworn in on January 27, 1985. Not meeting the three month deadline in the Treaty, the judges fully operationalized the Court by promulgating #the Rules of Procedure in July 1986. In 1997, the addition of Guinea Bissau to WAEMU resulted in the expansion of the bench to nine judges. The Additional Act that initiating this expansion also included the specification that judges on the Court are chosen from among those persons guaranteeing independence and juridical competence, emphasizing that the Court is to be wholly separate from the political sphere of the Union.
Abstract: Situated in between Ghana and Benin, with a coastline of no more than 56km, Togo is one of Africa's smallest countries. However, what has habitually been a little talked about West African nation holds a long history of political unrest and has recently entered into a phase of instability in the beginning of 2005. Civil society members and organizations are now regrouped in the WANEP network, (West African Network for Peacebuilding) in a joint effort to set a national agenda toward reconciliation, peace and security and lead the way in facing Togo's unprecedented public health, development and education challenges.
Abstract: Regional leaders created the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on May 28, 1975 in Lagos, Nigeria. ECOWAS is comprised of 15 countries, which include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire , The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria , Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. The leaders established ECOWAS to promote regional integration and economic growth in West Africa, as well as to create a monetary union in the region. However, ECOWAS has encountered problems in the process of regional integration including: political instability and lack of good governance that has plagued many member countries, the insufficient diversification of national economies, the absence of reliable infrastructure, and the multiplicity of organizations for regional integration with the same objectives.
Abstract: Trafficking in Persons has become a major concern for all countries of Western Africa.
The Meeting of ECOWAS Heads of States, in December 2001, adopted a Declaration
and the ECOWAS Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons (2002-2003). It
directed the ECOWAS Executive Secretariat to prepare proposals for controlling trafficking
in persons in the sub-region, with special consideration to the situation of trafficked
The UNODC project FS/RAF/04/R60 on the "Assistance for the Implementation of the
ECOWAS Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons" will strengthen the capacity of
the ECOWAS Secretariat and its Member States in implementing the ECOWAS Plan of
Action, particularly as it relates to assessment of existing national legislation and the
drafting of new legislation in response to the United Nations Protocol to Prevent,
Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.
This Manual presents the definitions of trafficking in human beings and smuggling of
migrants as well as general guidelines on investigation and prosecution of cases related to
trafficking in human beings, with a focus on cooperation between ECOWAS Member
States. This Manual is to be used as reference material and in training activities under
Abstract: The Republic of Benin is a constitutional democracy headed by President Mathieu Kerekou, who was inaugurated in 2001 after elections that observers generally viewed as free but not entirely fair. The March 2003 parliamentary elections, which were generally free, fair, and transparent, resulted in a loss of seats by the opposition. One opposition party joined the government coalition; as a result, the opposition holds 18 of 83 seats. During the year, the executive branch interfered with the judiciary, which was inefficient and susceptible to corruption at all levels.
The security forces consist of the armed forces, headed by the State Ministry of Defense, and the police force under the Ministry of Interior, Security, and Decentralization. The Ministry of Defense supervises the Gendarmerie, which exercises military police functions in rural areas, while the Ministry of Interior supervises other police forces. The armed forces under the Ministry of Defense continued to play an apolitical role in government affairs despite concerns about lack of morale within its ranks. Civilian authorities maintained effective control of the security forces. Members of the security forces committed some human rights abuses.
Abstract: The recirculation of weapons is undermining efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the international community to curb the illicit trafficking of
small arms in the ECOWAS region. Worryingly, the leakage of state-owned weapons through theft, seizure, and corruption is a primary source of small arms and light weapons for many armed groups.
This report documents more than 30 armed groups that have operated in ECOWAS member states since 1998, the year the Moratorium on Importation, Exportation and Manufacture of Light Weapons in West Africa was adopted. This represents the tip of the iceberg. More than 100 groups exist in Nigeria's River State alone, but detailed information is difficult to obtain.
Abstract: The political crisis that followed the disputed presidential elections in Togo on 24 April 2005 and which, since then, resulted in the appointment of Gnassimbé Fauré to the presidency, caused an exodus of over 32 000 refugees to Ghana and to Benin as well as the the displacement of thousands of people within Togo according to the findings of the first available evaluations. In Ghana, the flow of refugees received by the local communities and which at first seemed to be a just daily shuttle between Ghana and Togo, gathered momentum soon after the crisis.
Abstract: Islam is the fastest growing religion on the African sub continent and has a significant presence in an array of states. While mystical and often syncretic variants of Sufi Islam are evident in much of East and West Africa, the austere, illiberal Wahabi sect, coming out of Saudi Arabia, has found a growing audience in these regions and in the Horn. The consequent battle for the heart of African Islam constitutes an important part of the African religious landscape, with implications for both internal African politics and relations with the United States.
Abstract: The Bush Administration has requested $95.2 million in FY2008 funds for the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), a multilateral, five-year program with planned U.S. contributions of some $660 million from FY2005 through FY2009. Its primary purpose is to train and equip 75,000 military troops, a majority of them African, for peacekeeping operations by 2010. GPOI also provides support for the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units (CoESPU), an Italian training center for gendarme (constabulary police) forces in Vicenza, Italy. In addition, GPOI is promoting the development of an international transportation and logistics support system for peacekeepers, and is encouraging an information exchange to improve international coordination of peace operations training and exercises in Africa. In June 2004, G8 leaders pledged to support the goals of the initiative. GPOI incorporates previous capabilities-building programs for Africa. From FY1997 to FY2005, the United States spent just over $121 million on GPOI's predecessor program that was funded through the State Department Peacekeeping (PKO) account: the Clinton Administration's African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) and its successor, the Bush Administrations's African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program.
Abstract: The Food Security and Agricultural Projects Analysis Unit (ESAF) of FAO has undertaken a number of pilot studies to develop a methodology for understanding why certain groups of people are vulnerable to becoming food insecure. The studies use the sustainable livelihoods approach adopted for food security analysis and are primarily based on qualitative information collection. The objective of these studies is to inform policy and programming decisions for reducing vulnerability to food insecurity. Drawing from these experiences and those of other FAO units involved in similar work, this paper identifies key lessons learnt and makes recommendations for strengthening future work on food security and vulnerability analysis.