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Economic Community of West African States

The Economic Community of West African States is a regional group of fifteen countries, founded on May 28, 1975 when 15 West African countries signed the Treaty of Lagos[?]. Its mission is to promote economic integration.

It was founded to achieve "collective self-sufficiency" for the member states by means of economic and monetary union creating a single large trading bloc. The very slow progress towards this aim meant that the treaty was revised towards a looser collaboration.

The ECOWAS Secretariat and the Fund for Cooperation, Compensation and Development are its two main institutions to implement policies.

Executive Secretary, 1997 to date (2001): Lansana Kouyate

Member States - Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togolese Republic.

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