Regional Integration in West Africa and the Case of Cape Verde

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This paper proposes to examine regional integration in West Africa, especially in the case of ECOWAS (Economic Community of WestAfrican States, which includes Cape Verde). Initially, ECOWAS was intended to create a free trade zone, a customs union, a commonmarket, and an economic and monetary union following Balassa’ integration process steps. Knowing that the integration project inWest Africa was not, nor is it today, merely an economic one, the paper aims to understand the patterns that led ECOWAS to thepresent reality. In order to achieve this goal, the analysis is conducted at three different levels: 1) the level of the African Union (OAU),as regional communities in Africa are linked to this organisation at a macro-regional level; 2) the regional level of ECOWAS; and,finally, 3) the national level of Cape Verde, the only island state of West Africa, its membership situation, in a moment where it isclear that the country faces several economic and social development challenges. The methodology used was based on acomprehensive literature review on African regional integration, both on primary (institutional and legal documentation) andsecondary sources (books, papers and reports). This methodology was also applied to the understanding of Cape Verde's position inrelation to ECOWAS. The field research made in Cape Verde included a collection of data and documentation in the main CapeVerdean official institutions dealing with the issue of regional integration, with special focus on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs(MIREX), Ministry of Finance and Planning and the Institute of West Africa (WAI-WAI). The authors also conducted some semistructuredinterviews near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff, for better perception of how Cape Verde considers ECOWAS as anaxis of its foreign policy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 24th APDR Congress
Subtitle of host publicationIntellectual Capital and Regional Development: New landscapes and challenges for space planning
Place of PublicationCovilhã
PublisherAssociacao Portuguesa para o Desenvolvimento Regional (APDR)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-8780-05-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event24th APDR Congress -
Duration: 6 Jul 20177 Jul 2017


Conference24th APDR Congress


  • Cape Verde
  • Regional Integration
  • West Africa


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