Revisiting economic integration in West Africa: A theoretical exposition
Abstract. The signing of regional trade agreement between the Economic Community of West African State and Switzerland in 2017 provides a renewed and ambitious blueprint for economic integration and developmental strategies in West Africa. However, one of the remarkable features of the historic event was the relative lack of analysis of the significant issues and problem of regional aspiration and integration before the treaty was drafted. Bearing this in mind, it appears that the theoretical persuasion of economic integration may have attracted this commitment since it provides a better understanding on the economic mechanism through which a regional cooperation could enhance both static and dynamic benefits among partnering countries. For better consideration of the implication of this move, this study identifies the main trends in economic integration theories and also flashlight on how these theories were developed. The motivations that led to the need for innovative approaches to enrich economic theory of economic integration were based on its implication or impact on West African region. Although several researchers have tried to explain the phenomenon of economic integration, we cannot say there is a generally accepted theory, since some of the already suggested theories and criticisms has its consequences on the region. Hence, this study is suggesting domesticated theories that will suite the contextual analysis of African region rather than adopting theories meant for developed and more vibrant economy.
Keywords. Economic integration, Regional, Theoretic, West Africa.JEL. F20, F15.
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