In this article, we’ll address the question: Does ECOWAS accept Corpers? If you’re a corps member wondering whether ECOWAS accepts Corpers, this article is for you. The main purpose is to provide answers regarding the organization’s acceptance of Corpers, along with essential information to help Corps members and prospective corps members understand the institution better.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was established on May 28, 1975, by the Heads of State and Government of fifteen West African countries through the signing of the ECOWAS Treaty in Lagos, Nigeria. The original signatories included Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sénégal, and Togo. Cabo Verde joined in 1977, while Mauritania withdrew in 2000 but later signed a new associate-membership agreement in August 2017.
Covering an expansive area of 5.2 million square kilometers, ECOWAS aims to promote economic integration in the region. It is considered a key component of the African Economic Community, emphasizing collective self-sufficiency for member states. The organization’s mission includes fostering economic cooperation to create a substantial trading bloc.
The member states of ECOWAS, with a combined GDP of $734.8 billion, engage in integrated economic activities spanning various sectors such as industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, and commerce, as well as addressing monetary, financial, social, and cultural matters. ECOWAS plays a crucial role in facilitating regional economic development and cooperation among its diverse member nations.
In 2007, the ECOWAS Secretariat underwent a transformation into a Commission, led by the President, a Vice President, thirteen Commissioners, and the Auditor-General of ECOWAS Institutions. This restructuring involved experienced bureaucrats providing leadership to implement critical and strategic programs aimed at enhancing cohesion and removing barriers to full integration. The goal is to empower the estimated 300 million citizens of the community, fostering a shift from an “ECOWAS of States” to an envisioned “ECOWAS of the People: Peace and Prosperity to All” by 2050. The headquarter of ECOWAS is located in Abuja, Nigeria.
Objectives of ECOWAS
- Harmonization and Coordination of National Policies
Focus on aligning and coordinating national policies across a range of sectors, including food, agriculture, natural resources, industry, transport, communications, energy, trade, money, finance, taxation, and more.
- Promotion of Integration Programs
Emphasis on fostering integration through programs and activities spanning diverse areas such as human resources, education, information, culture, science, technology, services, health, tourism, and legal matters.
- Environmental Protection Policies
Harmonization and coordination of policies aimed at protecting the environment, reflecting a commitment to sustainable practices within the region.
- Establishment of Joint Production Enterprises
Promotion of collaborative ventures to establish joint production enterprises, fostering cooperation and synergy among member states.
- Creation of a Common Market
Strategies include the liberalization of trade, the abolition of customs duties between member states, the elimination of non-tariff barriers, and the establishment of a free trade area at the community level.
- Adoption of Common External Tariff and Trade Policy
Goals involve the adoption of a common external tariff and a unified trade policy vis-a-vis third countries, contributing to a cohesive trade approach across the region.
- Free Movement of Persons, Goods, Services, and Capital
Focus on removing obstacles between member states to ensure the unrestricted movement of people, goods, services, and capital, along with the right of residence and establishment.
- Economic Union
Aims to establish an economic union by adopting common policies in the economic, financial, social, and cultural sectors, culminating in the creation of a monetary union.
- Promotion of Joint Ventures and Cross-Border Investments
Emphasis on encouraging joint ventures among private sector enterprises and economic operators, facilitated by the adoption of a regional agreement on cross-border investments, fostering collaboration and economic integration.
- Integration of Private Sectors and SME Promotion
Measures to integrate the private sector, particularly the creation of an enabling environment to support the growth of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs), reflect a commitment to inclusive economic development.
- Establishment of an Enabling Legal Environment
Focus on creating a legal environment that supports and enables economic activities, providing a foundation for business operations within the community.
- Harmonization of Investment Codes and Standards
The harmonization of national investment codes to create a single Community investment code, streamlining investment regulations and standards across member states for consistency and efficiency.
- Promotion of Balanced Regional Development
Strategies for promoting balanced development within the region, with special attention to addressing the unique challenges faced by each member state, including those of landlocked and small island nations.
- Enhancement of Relations and Information Flow
Efforts to strengthen relations and facilitate the flow of information, particularly among rural populations, women, youth organizations, and various socio-professional groups such as media associations, business communities, workers, and trade unions.
- Adoption of a Community Population Policy
The establishment of a Community population policy that considers the balance between demographic factors and socio-economic development, demonstrating a holistic approach to regional planning.
- Creation of a Fund for Cooperation and Development
The establishment of a fund dedicated to cooperation, compensation, and development, providing financial resources to support collaborative initiatives and projects within the community.
- Flexibility for Additional Joint Activities
Acknowledgment of the flexibility for member states to undertake any other joint activities deemed necessary to achieve community objectives, allowing for adaptability in pursuing common goals.
Does ECOWAS Accept Corpers?
Yes, ECOWAS does accept Corpers. If you’re aspiring to serve at ECOWAS, it’s possible, as they accept Corpers and retain some after their service period.
ECOWAS is known as one of the highest paying Primary Places of Assignment (PPA) in Nigeria, attracting many Corps members. Typically, Corpers receive monthly allowances ranging from N25,000 to N50,000.
However, securing a position to serve at ECOWAS is often challenging. As a Corps member eager to serve at ECOWAS, you should exert extra effort not only to be posted there but, more importantly, to be accepted.