The Challenges and Prospects for Regional and Economic Integration in West Africa

  •  Maiyaki Theodore Bala    


The age-long practice of the individual survival of nations have long given way to the emergent concept of integration and cooperation among states as an option to meeting the collective development needs of the cooperating states. Practice has shown over time that when states take comparative advantage of each other’s strength and weaknesses, it opens the space and engenders the potentials for specialization, development of the economies of scale and indeed reduces the cost of production. Consequently, it enhances the purchasing power of the citizenry. In recent times, there have been significant increases in the efforts of developing countries especially in Sub-Saharan Africa to achieve regional economic integration. The advent of the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) have given new impetus to the global African and regional integration processes and has focused particular attention on the need to take decisive action to tackle the continent’s numerous problems through the instrument of the economic integration strategy. This paper appreciates the evolution of regional integration and analyses the rationale for economic integration in West Africa. It evaluates the challenges and prospects of integration in West Africa. 

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