Communauté économique de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (CEAO)

West African Economic Community
Comunidad Economica de Africa Occidental

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9 June 1959, as Union douanière économique des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (UDEAO) -- Customs Union of West African States (CUWAS). Statutes revised 3 Jan 1966; new Convention signed Mar 1966. Following a meeting, 1967, Accra (Ghana), organized by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), which gave rise to an Accra Protocol, CUWAS was reorganized and present name adopted 21 May 1970, Bamako (Mali). Treaty of Abidjan signed 17 Apr 1973, Abidjan; entered into force 1 Jan 1974. Statutes registered in 'UNTS 1/20641'. A meeting of Heads of West African States, Apr 1968, Monrovia (Liberia), regarded the Accra Protocol as part of the Protocol for West African Regional Group (GRAO) and a draft treaty was subsequently prepared, originally for discussion Dec 1968, Ouagadougou, but no subsequent activity in this direction has been reported. Military non-aggression pact signed 1977. Ceased to exist, Mar 1994, on setting up of West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).


Encourage harmonious and balanced development of the economic activities of Member States with a view to as rapid as possible an improvement in living standards of their populations; set up at the regional level an active policy of economic integration and cooperation, in particular with respect to the development of agriculture, cattle breeding, fisheries, industry, transportation and communications and tourism; develop exchange of agricultural and industrial projects between Member States, in particular through the establishment among them of an organized trade zone.

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Main areas:

I 'Regional Economic Cooperation': Rural Development Directorate (DDR); Industrial Development Directorate (DDI); Fund for Solidarity and Economic Development of the West African Economic Community (FOSIDEC).

II 'Organization of Commercial Exchanges': Commercial Exchanges Directorate (DECV); Regional Centre for Trade Information and Documentation (CRIC).

III 'Economic Integration': Advanced School of Textile Industries (ESITEX); African Centre for Advanced Studies in Management (CESAG); CEAO Rural Water Supply and Livestock Programme (HVP); Centre communautaire de formation en pêche continentale et aquaculture; Community Fishing Company (SCP); Fabrique communautaire de wagons (FACOWA); Higher School of Fishing Sciences and Techniques (ISSTH); Regional Centre for Solar Energy (CRES); School of Mining Industry and Geology (EMIG); Société communautaire d'armement, d'achat et de commercialization des produits de la pêche.

IV 'Management of the Community': Administrative and Financial Affairs Directorate; West African Economic Community Development Fund.

Working to harmonize customs procedures and establish common import tariffs for goods from outside the Community. Exports within the Community are encouraged through a Regional Cooperation Tax (TCR) which replaces customs duties and taxes and is lower than that payable in member States. Products continue to be added to this scheme. Unprocessed goods originating in any member country circulate in the zone free of all import duties or charges, except internal taxes, and of all quantitative restrictions. A work programme has been adopted for establishing a Common External Tariff. Common programmes and institutions are funded by external donors and aim at economic integration. Instrumental in setting up: Committee of West African Central Banks (CWACB); Société communautaire d'armement, d'achat et de commercialisation des produits de la pêche.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 43 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 3 non-governmental organizations.
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Members in 8 countries
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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Amenities
    • Living Conditions
  • Commerce
    • Trade
  • Government
    • Intergovernmental Communities
  • Economics
    • Economic
  • Development
    • Development
  • Integration
    • Integration

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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