No. 81 – May 2016
Authors: Marianna Griffini, Andrea Gasperini, Giuliano Luongo
In order to mark the recently celebrated 40th anniversary of ECOWAS, this report will critically examine the importance of the West African regional organization, from a historical, political, and economic point of view. After tracing the historical emergence of ECOWAS, this report will address the historical trajectory of evolution of the institutions making up the Community. Then, it will delve into the analysis of the pragmatics of the structure and functioning of ECOWAS, before assessing its achievements and areas for further improvement. It emerges that ECOWAS has achieved substantial goals mainly in the economic area and has taken significant steps in the direction of food security, energy and water integration. Promising initiatives also surface in the security and peace enforcement realm, though this area needs improvements in the near future.