Call Us Now

+91 9606900005 / 04

For Enquiry

 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)


In a recent coup, soldiers in the West African nation of Niger installed Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani as head of state after ousting President Mohamed Bazoum. Apart from the expected international players, such as Russia and the US, the regional bloc Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has been playing an active role.


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. ECOWAS: Fostering Integration and Stability in West Africa
  2. ECOWAS’ Potential Actions in Niger: Challenges and Considerations
  3. ECOWAS and India

ECOWAS: Fostering Integration and Stability in West Africa

Establishment and Mandate:
  • Founded in 1975 through the Lagos Treaty.
  • Also known as CEDEAO (in French).
  • Headquarters located in Abuja, Nigeria.
  • Mandate: Promoting economic integration among member states.
Economic Integration and Vision:
  • Aims for a single common currency and a large trading bloc.
  • Focus on industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, finance, and culture.
  • Vision: Creating a “borderless region” based on democracy, rule of law, and good governance.
  • Vision 2050: Transforming from “ECOWAS of States” to “ECOWAS of the People: Peace and Prosperity to All.”
Role in Conflict Resolution:
  • ECOWAS strives to end military conflicts in the region.
  • Established ECOMOG (Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group) for regional peacekeeping.
  • ECOMOG deployed forces in Liberia (1990) and Sierra Leone (1997) during civil unrest.
  • 2017 intervention in The Gambia to resolve political crisis.
Recent Challenges and Actions:
  • Suspended Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso following coups.
  • ECOWAS refused to recognize new governments in these countries.
  • Demonstrates commitment to upholding democratic norms and stability.

ECOWAS’ Potential Actions in Niger: Challenges and Considerations

Historical Context:

  • ECOWAS has not previously intervened militarily in Niger, unlike in other countries.
  • The leader of the ongoing Niger coup, Gen. Tchiani, had previously served as an ECOWAS peacekeeper in Ivory Coast.
Challenges to Military Intervention:
  • Potential military intervention by ECOWAS faces challenges due to geopolitical complexities.
  • Neighboring countries Mali and Burkina Faso, both under military juntas, have shown support for the coup in Niger.
  • An attack on Niger might be interpreted as an attack on these supportive nations.
  • Coups in these countries have been justified by the rising influence of terrorist forces and security challenges.
  • These nations have criticized Western involvement in resolving such issues.
Economic and Political Factors:
  • Economic sanctions imposed by ECOWAS might be limited in their effectiveness due to the economic challenges faced by the region.
  • Low economic growth prospects in these countries could impact the success of sanctions.
  • The Nigerian President, who currently chairs ECOWAS, has called for military action, but the Nigerian Senate has shown resistance.
ECOWAS and India:
  • India has Observer status with ECOWAS since 2004, fostering strong ties.
  • India extends Line of Credit (LOCs) to support ECOWAS’ regional integration and development efforts.
  • Collaboration provides opportunities for Indian companies in sectors like energy, telecom, and transportation in West Africa.
  • ECOWAS has supported India’s bid for a seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

-Source: Indian Express

October 2023