The Economic Community of West African States, also known as ECOWAS is a regional economic union of fifteen countries located in West Africa. Collectively, these countries comprise an area of 5,114,162 km2(1,974,589 sq mi), and in 2015 had an estimated population of over 349 million.
The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional group of fifteen countries, founded in 1975. Its mission is to promote economic integration in "all fields of economic activity, particularly industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, commerce, monetary and financial questions, social and cultural matters ....."
The Institutions of the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) are as follows:
- The Commission
- The Community Parliament
- The Community Court OF Justice
- ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID)
The union was established on 28 May 1975, with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos, with its stated mission to promote economic integration across the region. A revised version of the treaty was agreed and signed on 24 July 1993 in Cotonou. Considered one of the pillar regional blocs of the continent-wide African Economic Community (AEC), the states goal of ECOWAS is to achieve "collective self-sufficiency" for its member states by creating a single large trading bloc by building a full economic and trading union.