The Role of ECOWAS in Security Governance in West Africa

Sulaiman Sankoh


The end of colonial rule in West Africa witnessed the rise of different transnational security threats in the region, such as civil wars, political instability, international organized crime, terrorism and the smuggling of illicit arms to member states. While civil wars have transcended regional conflicts as the primary cause of casualties for decades in West Africa, it seems that ECOWAS and international organizations like the UN have become increasingly supportive to security governance in the region. Member states have also seen the growing role of non-state actors in the provisions of security governance in their various countries.  As a result of the present global system which contains internal or regional wars that can have severe and immediate consequences for states in the region. The regional organizations such as ECOWAS and sub-regional organization like the Mano River Union (MRU) have contributed to regional security peace and stability. In this sense, they either function as elements of regional organizations, or complement to the international organizations like the UN, UNOWA, and other multinational institutions like the World Bank and IMF. Africa also had a Pan-African organization created in 1963, known as Organization of Africa Union (OAU). This organization was later renamed as the Africa Union (AU), in the year 2000.


Theoretical Framework, Security, Concept, Governance, ECOWAS

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