The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), led by its current Chairman, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is holding its 59th summit. The meeting which was opened yesterday by the Chairman brought in almost all the Presidents of the various member states to Ghana's capital, Accra on Saturday, June 19, 2021.
Until the meeting was held here in Ghana, many of us have almost forgotten about the existence and work of this body, despite the Chairman being our own Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
ECOWAS by nature is supposed to be a powerful organisation which should have been a replica of the G7. This is because, it is a regional, political and economic union of only fifteen countries located in a close sub-region, and having straight forward objectives.
Without any equivocation, one can say that the regional body had performed badly or underachieved in terms of its core mandates. Since its formation in May 1975, it has tried to promote a zero tariffs on goods traded among member states in other to increase trade, make for better returns and most importantly enhance consumer choice.
This particular problem has been compounded by the incessant use of barriers by member states to frustrate the free flow of goods and services. To promote trade, the have been call a for the removal of borders between these countries. Till date, they only meet and talk about it, no action.
Another monumental failure, the body's inability to birth the much-needed common currency. Its European counterpart had produced the Euro for how many years now? On this also, it is still all talks. Just yesterday, the Chairman, Nana Addo mentioned it in his open session address. I am not being skeptical, but that will be all.
A citizen of West African is supposed to be able to move freely within the region without any hindrance. The so-called ECOWAS passport is only a booklet in our hands.
The region has been unstable for quite some time, with Coups in Burkina Faso, Mali etc. Not enough to say the entire region is in unrest, however, it speaks of the peace promotional ability of the union.
For me, ECOWAS is turning into a huge white elephant because of its inability to resolve some common basic objectives. It is having no or little significance in the lives of the over 389 million ECOWAS citizens.
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