Africa Notes: ECOWAS: Problems and Prospects - October 1982
October 10, 1982
The success of experiments involving economic cooperation in West Africa in the 1980s will turn on two major factors:
(1) the economic conditions facing key countries (France, Nigeria, Senegal, and the Ivory Coast) and
(2) the degree of continuing commitment by the political leadership in these countries to pursue their national interests through regional organizations.
While it is risky, indeed foolhardy, to predict what will happen in any area of Africa in the next eight years, or even in the next eight months, the most likely scenario for West African regional cooperation in the 1980s is that France and the francophone countries will continue their several mutually rewarding cooperative arrangements. ECOWAS will fail to achieve its goals of broader regional economic integration but may make some modest contributions to regional cooperation.