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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: L’économie cap-verdienne a progressé de 6.6 pour cent en 2007 (estimation), après une hausse 10.8 pour cent en 2006. Cette croissance qui reste vigoureuse reflète le taux d’exécution relativement élevé du programme d’investissements publics (PIP) des autorités et le dynamisme du secteur privé, soutenus par un important essor du crédit et de l’investissement privé intérieurs, ainsi que par de substantielles entrées d’investissements directs étrangers (IDE). En 2008 et 2009, le PIB en volume devrait encore augmenter de respectivement 7.6 pour cent puis 7 pour cent. L’inflation annuelle moyenne a décru à 4.5 pour cent en 2007 contre 6 pour cent en 2006, et elle devrait être inférieure à 3 pour cent en 2008.
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: 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: 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 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: West Africa is a region with a history of senseless wars that have often targeted civilians rather than combatants. In October 1998, Heads of State
and Governments of the 16 member states of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)1 formally signed the Moratorium on the importation, exportation, and manufacture of small arms and light weapons (SALW). ECOWAS Member States adopted a code of conduct as
well as a plan of action for the implementation of the Moratorium. The creation of national commissions for the fight against illicit trade and possession of small arm, verification strategies, and introduction of enduser certificates constitute major highlights of the document. This article provides a review of events in West Africa that have challenged the effectiveness and relevance of the Moratorium in addressing the
proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the region.
Abstract: This paper examines food security in the context of conflict in West Africa. The analysis developed in the paper recognises the importance of defining conflict type and the trends in conflict so that conflict and post-conflict policies may be implemented. The relationship between food security and conflict is analysed. Whilst conflict exacerbates food security, food insecurity can itself fuel conflict. Strategies designed to assist in post-war rehabilitation need to address key dimensions of food security: availability, access and stability. It is argued in this paper, that consideration of these three dimensions are necessary joint conditions in moving towards a reduction in the numbers of hungry. The cases of Sierra Leone and Liberia are examined to consider the nature of conflict and how food security is being addresses and the necessary policy implications after prolonged violent conflict. Ghana is examined as an analytical contrast to show that the absence of conflict is not a sufficient condition for growth and reduced hunger.