External Forces and Regional Integration in Africa: A study of Economic Community of West African States
Keywords:ECOWAS, external forces, foreign aid, regional integration, sub-region
The paper examined the roles of external forces in regional integration in Africa using the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as a case. The mission of ECOWAS that was birthed in 1975 by fifteen-member states was aimed at achieving a robust and dynamic economic community. The community has relatively made progress in some areas. Despite these remarkable achievements, the dream to actualize robust gains of economic integration has met a brick wall. The inherent contradiction in the ECOWAS notwithstanding, the interference of external forces promotes as well as undermines regional integration in the
West African Sub-region. The paper adopted a dependency framework as its theoretical construct. The paper adopted the qualitative method as a data-gathering technique and content analysis in analyzing the secondary data. The paper unravelled that the ECOWAS depends on external aids from the foreign national government, non-governmental organizations, the United Nations System, among others, while the France national government undermine the scheme through her membership (Union Monétaire Ouest Africaine) of her former colonial francophone countries. The paper recommends amongst others that the francophone countries should withdraw from the monetary union with the French government.
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