West African leaders gather for ECOWAS summit

West African leaders gather for ECOWAS summit

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold its summit today in Liberia, attracting top foreign dignitaries, including Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Formed in 1975, ECOWAS aims to increase West African political and economic integration. One key feature of this aim is the Eco, a planned single

Photo: Sam Phatey

Photo: Sam Phatey

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold its summit today in Liberia, attracting top foreign dignitaries, including Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Formed in 1975, ECOWAS aims to increase West African political and economic integration. One key feature of this aim is the Eco, a planned single currency which it hoped to introduce by 2020. However, much groundwork remains to realise this ambitious project, particularly in fulfilling inflation and growth rate targets.

In the meantime, ECOWAS leaders will have to deal with a political crisis in Guinea-Bissau, where protesters are demanding President Jose Mario Vaz to resign. Having been decisive in solving the political standoff in The Gambia last year—which saw the resignation of long-time President Yay Jammeh—a successful intervention in Guinea-Bissau would further boost the bloc’s reputation as an anchor of regional stability.