The impact of ECOWAS on the intra-regional trade flows in West Africa: an empirical analysis

Various studies on ECOWAS suggest that the share of intraregional trade flows in the total trade of the Community is very low, despite the efforts at integration undertaken in the West African subregion in the past two decades. Using a gravity model, the present author provides a quantitative assessment of the impact of integration efforts on intraregional trade flows in West Africa by looking at trade flows before and after integration (represented by the periods 1970-1972 and 1978-1980 respectively). The results indicate that the Community’s efforts have not significantly affected intraregional trade flows, that official intraregional trade flows have declined and that unrecorded transborder trade may have been indirectly promoted by the implementation strategy adopted by ECOWAS. The author recommends the unqualified coordination and harmonization of policies since the preponderance of unrecorded transborder trade in the region is a reaction to divergences in the social and economic policies of member States. Bibliogr., notes, sum.

Title:The impact of ECOWAS on the intra-regional trade flows in West Africa: an empirical analysis
Author:Ogunkola, E. Olawale
Year:1997
Periodical:The Nigerian Journal of Economic and Social Studies
Volume:39
Issue:1
Pages:1-17
Language:English
Geographic term:West Africa
Abstract:Various studies on ECOWAS suggest that the share of intraregional trade flows in the total trade of the Community is very low, despite the efforts at integration undertaken in the West African subregion in the past two decades. Using a gravity model, the present author provides a quantitative assessment of the impact of integration efforts on intraregional trade flows in West Africa by looking at trade flows before and after integration (represented by the periods 1970-1972 and 1978-1980 respectively). The results indicate that the Community’s efforts have not significantly affected intraregional trade flows, that official intraregional trade flows have declined and that unrecorded transborder trade may have been indirectly promoted by the implementation strategy adopted by ECOWAS. The author recommends the unqualified coordination and harmonization of policies since the preponderance of unrecorded transborder trade in the region is a reaction to divergences in the social and economic policies of member States. Bibliogr., notes, sum.