Virtual Kollage: The problems of ECOWAS

Posted by / Wednesday, 31 May 2017 / No comments

The problems of ECOWAS

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PROBLEMS THE ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF WEST AFRICAN STATES
Language barrier
There are three languages used for communication within the ECOWAS bloc, that is English, French and Portuguese. For easy communication among members there is the the need for individuals in the region to be able to speak these languages but this is proving to be difficult. This has necessitated the use of interpreters to make people understand each other at summits  of the Community.

Widespread Poverty
Many of the member states of ECOWAS are among the poorest of the poor nations in the world. Many of their citizens earn less that a dollar a day. This, in a certain sense is preventing real economic integration of the sub-region while many continue to live in squalor and deprivation.

Human Rights Abuses
Another problem of the ECOWAS group is the penchant of the member states to abuse the human rights of their citizens. The human rights records of some member states is nothing to write home about. Champions of human rights abuse have cited member states on many occasions over their human rights abuse.Togo was ever cited, Nigeria under Sanni Abacha has ever been cited. This is a problem for ECOWAS.

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Financial problems
The aims and objectives of the ECOWAS can only be achieved when the financial base of the community is solid. However, some member states are not able to honour their financial obligations to the community.This is one problem that has bedeviled the community over the years, especially when it comes to the running of the affairs of the community.

Strong External Influence
Many of the member states of ECOWAS were former colonies of some former colonial powers. Countries such as Britain, France and Portugal ever had a colony or two that now belong to the ECOWAS group. These member states are still controlled, to a certain extent, by their former colonial masters. The influence of these colonial masters, in some cases, are so strong that, they are able to determine the direction of their votes at summit meetings on issues that are not in the interest of the former masters.

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Single currency 
One of the aims of the community is to establish a monetary union for the entire region. This was aimed at culminating into a single currency for ECOWAS member states. However, the member states have not been able to meet the convergence criteria, all at the same time for the single currency to be issued. This has made the attainment of that goal a mirage, though efforts continue to be made towards its achievement.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. Highlight six problems faced by the Economic Community of West African States.
2. a. List four organs of the Economic Community of West African States.
    b. Outline five obstacles that hinder the implantation of the aims and objectives of the ECOWAS.
3. Explain six problems facing the Economic Community of West African States
4. a. Discuss three achievements of the Economic Community of West African States.
    b. What three problems does the ECOWAS face?

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