Socioeconomic Emancipation and Integration of West Africa: The Role of the West African Gas Pipeline
Date of Award
Master of Public Administration (MPA)
Economic integration became a global concept that every nation in the twentieth and beginning twenty-first centuries tried to partake in as either a model of national or regional development. Countries in the West African sub-region have been part of these phenomena. On May 28, 1975, governments and heads of states in the West Africa converged in Lagos, Nigeria to sign a pact that gave birth to a union in the region known as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The treaty was reaffirmed in 1993 by countries that constitute the union, the essence was revitalization of the main object of ECOWAS—economic integration and establishment of a common citizenship for every individual in member states.
After almost four decades of its birth, ECOWAS is nowhere near achieving its objective as specified in its articles of incorporation; that is establishment of economic union, and integration of citizens among member states. It is therefore in the face of failed and unaccomplished policies that this paper sought to investigate the role the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) is playing in the socioeconomic emancipation and integration of the region as its major purpose. The paper concludes that WAGP’s project has brought significant changes to the region; it has endured negative consequences on communities around the pipeline areas, such as deforestation and displacement of residents who either depend on the sea or the surrounding lands for their livelihoods. These are the serious problems that must be addressed by the ECOWAS officials through workable, sustainable policies.