ECOWAS: History

1965 Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone sign an agreement.
General Gowon of Nigeria and General Eyadema of Togo reintroduce the idea of a West African regional trade agreement. 1972
1973 General Gowon and General Eyadema visit West African countries eliciting support for a new regional trade agreement.
Potential member states meet in Lomé, Togo, to review a draft of the treaty. 1973
1974 Experts and jurists meet in Accra, Ghana, to further review a draft of the treaty.
Ministers meet in Monrovia, Liberia, for the final review of the treaty draft. 1975
1975 The Treaty of ECOWAS, which established the economic community, is signed in Lagos, Nigeria.
Cape Verde becomes the sixteenth member of ECOWAS. 1977
1993 Member states sign a revised treaty.
ECOWAS signs the Protocol on Relations between the African Economic Community and the Regional Economic Communities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 1998
1999 An ECOWAS Summit takes place in December, where the member states agree upon a Protocol for the Establishment of a Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, management and resolution, and peace and security. Mauritania withdraws from ECOWAS because of disagreements with the decisions that were made during the Summit.
ECOWAS signs the Cotonou Agreement, an agreement between the ACP Group and the European Community. 2000
2001 The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) signs an agreement with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) under which both organizations agree to cooperate in eight areas in furtherance of their common interest.
ECOWAS and the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA) sign a general cooperation agreement to enhance the coordination and harmonization of their programs. It provides for the creation of a Joint Technical Secretariat to enhance the coordination of their joint activities. 2004
2006 ECOWAS signs an agreement with the Government of the Republic of Benin for the hosting of the headquarters of the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP), a specialized institution of ECOWAS for promoting the efficient exploitation and distribution of the energy resources of the region.
ECOWAS signs a comprehensive agreement with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), an agreement that will provide the linchpin for attracting Chinese private sector investment into strategic sectors of the West African economy. 2008
2009 A Memorandum of Understanding is signed in Ouagadougou between ECOWAS and the ITC. The memorandum is designed to improve the volume of intra-Community trade within the RECs and thus stimulate economic development.
ECOWAS and China sign an agreement for cooperation in infrastructure development, trade and investment. 2012
2013 Ministers that are responsible for ECOWAS affairs in Member States approve the creation of a Regional Investment Guarantee Agency with $1 billion of U.S. capital in order to help mitigate political risks associated with investments in West Africa.
ECOWAS launches Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF), with headquarters in Lome, Togo. 2013
2015 ECOWAS Common External Tariff goes into force on January 1st.


Africa Union: ECOWAS Profile

European Commission: Partnership Agreement ACP-EC

Official ECOWAS Website

The Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States: Treaties & Agreements