ECONOMIC OPERATION AND INTEGRATION IN WEST AFRICA (1999-2010)

ECONOMIC OPERATION AND INTEGRATION IN WEST AFRICA (1999-2010)

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 Abstract

This study is on economic operation and integration in West Africa (1999-2010). The total population for the study is 200 staff of ECOWAS, Abuja. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made of auditors, ICT officers, senior staff and junior staff were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies

 CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background of the study

Throughout the 1990s the doctrine of economic globalization has been advocated with such intensity as to seem the very spirit of the age. “Globalism,” as the discourse advocating globalization may be called, has grown conspicuously extreme in its claims, asserting in various ways that a unitary, undifferentiated world has or will in the near future become reality. At the same time, arguments opposing or wary of that prospect have also been put forward on various fronts. In the final decade of the twentieth century, the process of economic globalization has advanced remarkably, supporting these claims for globalism’s ascendency. The advance is most striking in the instantaneous transfer of large sums of money in the international financial market (Kudo, 2000: 1). According to him, the tide of globalization did not swell all of a sudden in the 1990s. The groundwork for swift, international transfer of enormous quantities of funds was laid in the 1970s when trade and capital liberalization also gained momentum in developed capitalist countries, in parallel with the transition of the international monetary system to a floating rate system. By the 1980s, this wave of trade and capital liberalization had extended to semideveloped capitalist countries that had experienced sustained economic growth, and with this came the establishment of a global, open-economy system. This, too, spurred the international transfer of funds. This period was also characterized by dramatic growth on a global scale of not only American- but also European- and Japanese-based large corporations, and by an increasing trend toward corporate multi-nationalization. Multi-nationalization became another factor accelerating the international movement of funds. The 1980s also saw the rise of “neoliberalism,” represented by “Reaganomics” and “Thatcherism,” which may be regarded as the precursor of today’s globalism. Looking further back in history we find the establishment of the Bretton Woods System at the end of World War II, followed by its maturation in the 1950s and 60s. This system was the cornerstone of postwar globalization growing out of the disintegration of the interwar period world economy. Traced back even further to before World War I, we can see that Britain’s advocacy of free trade and free-trade imperialism in the nineteenth century was also a kind of globalism, and that that age was one of globalization as well. Capitalism, in other words, arose in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries literally as a world-unifying system (Kudo, 2000: 2). The other major trend in the world today alongside globalization is regionalization. The term “region” has various meanings. The development of regionalization has come to attract considerable attention, especially since U.S. hegemony began to wane. Although varying in scale, character, and significance from region to region, regionalization progressed on a worldwide scale from the latter half of the 1980s through the first half of the 1990s. The economic aspect of regionalization may be described as efforts to form free-trade zones and— through the creation of common markets, the coordination of economic policies and the implementation of joint economic policies—to form even larger economic zones. In Western Europe this trend is represented by the European Community (EC) and the European Union (EU); in North America by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); and in South America by the Mercado Común del Cono Sur (MERCOSUR). In Asia, meanwhile, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been enlarged and consolidated, and efforts have even been made toward integration at the pan-Pacific level in the form of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (APEC).Among the Arab States there are the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); and the organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC). In Africa meanwhile, there are Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC); Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern Africa (PTA). There are also the Communaute Economique del’Afrique de I’Ovest (CEAO), Comminaute Economique Des Pays des Grands Lacs (CEPGL); the Union Douanieve ef Economique de (‘Afrique Centrale ); and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). ECOWAS came into being on the 28th of May 1975 after a Treaty signed in Lagos Nigeria by leaders of fifteen (15) countries that make up West African Sub-region it entered into force in July 1975. The first meeting of the council of ministers and the Authority of Heads of States and Governments took place in Lome Togo, on November 4-5, 1976, during which additional protocols to the Treaty were signed. Sixteen (16) West Africa Heads of States signed a revised Treaty on July 24 1993. Onuh (2004:280) opined that the birth of this community was to an extent a response to a call by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) since its birth in 1963 for economic integration among African countries as well as that of United Nations Commission for Africa (ECA).The formation of ECOWASwas therefore informed more by the desire among the member states for political stability and industrialization than a quick response to the emerging global system. It was the dominant believe that an economically strong subregion will create the much-desired basis for political stability and become less economically dependent on the great powers. Gang and Padoa-Schioppa (2004) pointed out that it is widely recognized that the world economy has experienced an unprecedented intensification of economic and financial integration since the latter part of the twentieth century. According to them, developments such as trade and capital account liberalization, as well as technological innovation in transport and telecommunications, have increased the international exchange of factors of production and final products. They however reckoned that what is less often recognized is that the process of ‘globalization’ has been accompanied by the strengthening of economic and financial linkages within geographic regions. According to them, the world economy is simultaneously becoming more ‘regionalized’ and more ‘globalized’, and the trend towards regional integration has been supported in many areas by regional policy initiatives, particularly in the field of trade. The result, they say, is a proliferation of regional agreements that vary widely in breadth and depth. This view stands in sharp contrast to the position of scholars like Kudo who hold the view that even though both globalization and regionalization espouse the integration of economies, they differ markedly in the form and character of integration each espouses. They contend that regionalism is a counterpoise to globalization or Americanization and as such ‘progresses when hegemony is on the wane.’ The crux of their argument is that contrary to the common belief that globalization and regionalism would compliment to achieve greater integration, the globalization-type integration is actually antithetical to and therefore undermines regional integration processes, particularly in the more backwards regions of the world

1.2      STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

However, there are two ways to explain the problematique of globalization and economic integration in West Africa. First, globalization of the economy of West African states undermines regional economic integration because by espousing the opening up the economies of the West African states to the unrestricted movement of goods and capital from the industrialized nations, it reinforces the asymmetrical relationship between the individual West African states and the industrialized nations since the goods from the West African states are unable to compete with goods from the industrialized countries. In this sense, it discourages the integration of the West African economies. Second, the low level of development science and technology in the West African sub-region impedes its regional economic integration because it creates a situation of over reliance on the exportation of primary commodities by all the states in the region resulting in very low level trade among them. In order words, given that the countries of the West African sub-region are not industrialized, they depend mainly on the exportation of agricultural and other raw materials with little or no value addition. Because of the homogeneity of the exports of these countries, the level of trade between and among them is very low. Instead, they trade more with the industrialized countries who are the consumers of such raw materials. It is in this light, therefore, that this study examines the interface between globalization and economic integration in the ECOWAS region. To do this, the study poses the following research questions:

 1. Does the liberalization of the economies of African states undermine regional economic integration of the sub-region?

 2. Does the low level of development of science and technology in the West African sub region impede its economic integration?

1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The specific objectives of the study are:

 1. To explain how the liberalization of the economies of African states undermines regional economic integration of the sub-region

 2. To analyze how the low level of development of science and technology in the West African sub-region undermines its economic integration.

3.  To ascertain the relationship economic operation and integration in West Africa

1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

The following have been put forward for testing

H0: there is no relationship economic operation and integration in West Africa

H1: there is relationship economic operation and integration in West Africa

 H0: there is no low level of development of science and technology in the West African sub-region undermines its economic integration

H1: there is low level of development of science and technology in the West African sub-region undermines its economic integration

1.5 SIGNIFCANCE OF THE STUDY

This study will give a clear insight on economic operation and integration in West Africa. This study will be very significant to student and the entire West African countries. The study will serve as a reference to other researchers who will embark on this topic

1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study covers economic operation and integration in west Africa. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

 a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study     

b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

 1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS

GLOBALIZATION: Globalization or globalisation is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide

ECONOMIC OPERATION: A good business practice is the one in which the production cost is minimized without sacrificing the quality. This is not any different in the power sector as well. The main aim here is to reduce the production cost while maintaining the voltage magnitudes at each bus

INTEGRATION: Numerical integration, computing an integral with a numerical method, usually with a computer. Integration by parts, a method for computing the integral of a product of functions. Integration by substitution, a method for computing integrals, by using a change of variable.


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