Regional Integration

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    The African Development Bank organised a ministerial conference on jobs for young people in Africa, a meeting that was held in Abidjan on 18 October. The event brought together some of the continent’s Ministers of Finance and Youth Employment, young people from Côte d’Ivoire, as well as government officials, leaders of civil society organisations and other private sector representatives from ECOWAS countries. Read on
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    African leaders gathered from 10-15 October at the Summit on Maritime Security and safety, held in Lomé within the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government. Twenty-two African delegations adopted the African Charter on Maritime Security, Safety and Development. The Charter aims to put into place an African strategy for the protection of its seas and oceans, to ensure peace, security and stability, and to make the African maritime space the key driver for sustainable economic development. Read on
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    SWAC: 
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    On the sidelines of the OECD Africa Forum on 29 September 2016, the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD) and the OECD Development Centre had a working session with the ECOWAS Commission President Alain Marcel de Souza. The session provided an opportunity to present key priorities of OECD’s work with Africa and to listen to the expectations of the ECOWAS Commission, beyond its SWAC membership. Read on
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    The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) announced that the average UEMOA GDP is expected to grow by 7.1% in 2016. This is less than the growth rate that was forecast during the first two trimesters, but it is slightly above the 2015 growth rate of 7%. The region’s prospects for growth in the medium-term are positive overall, despite consistent security concerns in member countries such as Mali or Niger. Read on
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    West African finance ministers met in Dakar on 15-16 August during the 18th meeting of the joint ECOWAS-UEMOA Committee on the management of the Common External Tariff (CET). The objective of the meeting was to discuss two major concerns: the regional economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union and the implications for the ECOWAS Common External Tariff. Read on
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    RPCA: 
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    As the main component of the ECOWAS Food Storage Strategy, the Regional Food Security Reserve constitutes a third line of response to crises, after local/community-level and national food reserves. Adopted in February 2013 at the ECOWAS Heads of State Conference in Yamoussoukro, the reserve is an important instrument of regional solidarity. Read on
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    The Republic of Benin celebrated its 56th year of Independence on 1 August. The national celebrations offered an opportunity for the newly elected president, Patrice Talon, who has been in power since 6 April 2016, to reaffirm his electoral commitments: institutional reform, economic recovery and an new dynamic overall to boost democracy in the country. President Talon is notably planning to organise a referendum to decide on the introduction of a single presidential mandate in the Constitution. Read on
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    To accelerate their industrialisation in the face of tough global competition, West African countries must leverage their comparative and competitive advantages. Several strategies are available to them. The first is integration into global value chains, by initially developing low added value and labour intensive activities before gradually moving upmarket in the value chain. A second strategy is based on the transformation of local products, such as mango, shea, cashew and textiles. A third strategy is that of regional value chains, which focuses on local production of goods for regional markets. Read on
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    From 7 to 8 June, ECOWAS and the World Bank organised a workshop in Accra as part of the Improved and Facilitated Trade in West Africa project. Representatives of UEMOA and the European Union also took part in the discussions. The workshop revolved around several issues related to the easing of trade in the maid trade corridors in the region, especially those that connect landlocked countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger) to coastal countries (Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana). Read on
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    A native of Pobè in Benin, Marcel Alain de Souza took office as the new President of the ECOWAS Commission on 8 April, succeeding Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo of Burkina Faso. Benin was designated to chair the Commission at the Conference of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on 17 December 2015. Read on

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