ECOWAS-Annual Trade Report Study

The Project at A Glance

ECOWAS is the largest regional body in West Africa, comprising 15 countries of the region. ECOWAS has established an ambitious agenda focusing on the advancement and deepening of regional integration in West Africa, strengthening its institutional capacities, and engaging toward a common market. 

To strengthen the competitiveness of West Africa and enhance the countries’ integration into the regional and international trading system, International Economics Consulting Ltd., through the EDF funding, is leading the preparation of an annual Trade report for the ECOWAS Region. 

What We Found

Regional and global integration has been one of the factors contributing to Africa’s economic growth. The integration process in West Africa has made significant progress in the areas of peace and security, sectoral and macroeconomic policies, free movement of goods and people, implementation of ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), as well as ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET). These strengths are reinforced by the growing openness of the region to international trade.  

African economies in general, and ECOWAS in particular, have strived to participate in global trade opportunities and integrate into global value chains despite growing international competition among different markets, particularly in Africa. However, such efforts have not always been successful due to a combination of multiple issues. Our Team is developing an ECOWAS Annual Trade report which will map out the current performance of ECOWAS trade while analysing competitiveness constraints and fostering higher trade volumes within the region. 

Our Strategy and Impact

The ECOWAS regional trade helps to boost exports among member states as well as to the rest of the world. Imports into the region are therefore complementary to the exports of goods and services. However, there is a need for a clearly structured Trade report that puts into detail an understanding of all the regional trade activities and initiatives that have been conducted with all trading partners, both within and outside the region along with the future roadmap of trade in the region. 

The methodology for the development of such Trade Report used by the Team includes a mix of quantitative and qualitative approaches. The qualitative approach will be based on key publications of national, regional and international institutions and organisations covering the ECOWAS region and factors affecting ECOWAS trade. The team will also conduct stakeholder consultations to collect the qualitative angles of the report, particularly on the strengths, challenges, and opportunities of the region. From a quantitative angle, the report will analyse ECOWAS’s existing trade patterns, both within the bloc, Africa, and the World, from both a general and sector-specific approach. 

Our Core Solutions

With the rapid proliferation of trade agreements worldwide, there are new market and investment opportunities for countries to explore. At International Economics Consulting, based on our extensive experience in international trade, we assist our clients by providing a detailed analysis of the key impacts of new trade agreements on their operations and competitiveness through an assessment of tariff, and non-tariff barriers, provisions on rules of origin, customs efficiency, the effectiveness of transport networks, and sustainability provisions, among others.  

We can help assess the opportunities in different markets, determine the feasibility and viability of projects, and benchmark the wider ecosystem to support business growth. We also support clients in navigating the policy landscape regarding international trade by establishing robust monitoring and evaluation framework through sophisticated real-time dashboards and reporting systems to ensure the best outcomes.  

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