Within West Africa exist mechanisms for implementation, which can be adapted to meet the recommendations of the WTO Task force on Aid for Trade such as the establishment of a regional Committee; the mechanism for coordinating donor funding and collaborations, including meeting the objectives of the Paris Principles; and determination of priorities.

Activities, which fall within the six categories defined by the WTO Task Force, are also ongoing in sectoral areas. These include the implementation of the ECOWAP/CAADP by the ECOWAS Regional Agricultural Investment Programme (RAIP), the Action Plan of the West African Common Industrial Policy (WACIP), the ECOWAS Transport Facilitation Project, the Economic Partnership Agreement Development Programme (EPADP/PAPED), the implementation of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) the West Africa Power Pool and the implementation of the ECOWAS Common External Tarif (CET). AfT programmes build on and strengthen existing integration agendas defined within the region.

The African Trade Policy Centre(ATPC)

The African Trade Policy Centre, (ATPC) is a project of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), funded by Canada, through the Canada Fund for Africa (CFA). ATPC’s goal is to contribute to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in Africa through the development and implementation of sound trade policies. Its objective is to strengthen the capacities (human and institutional) of Regional Economic Communities (RECs), their member states and trade-related institutions and networks to develop sound regionally coherent national trade policies and to participate more effectively in trade negotiations. Read more

EXPECT Initiative

The EXPECT Initiative was launched in 2010 with the objective of building a sustainable structure to support export competitiveness by promoting high export potential value chains and increasing exports through engaging the region’s private sector, donors, partners and other valuable stakeholders. It more specifically aims to support SMEs in these value chain sectors through capacity and skills building and empowering them through different ways. 6 lead potential value chains were carefully selected using ITC’s (International Trade Center) Market Analysis Tools. Read more

The West African Common Industrial Policy (WACIP)

The vision of the WACIP is to “maintain a solid industrial structure, which is globally competitive, environment-friendly and capable of significantly improving the living standards of the people by 2030.”1 In its bid to achieving this, it has the following specific objectives Read more

ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET)

The Common External Tariff is one of the instruments of harmonising ECOWAS Member States and strengthening its Common Market. Article 3 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty defines the aims of the community as promoting “co-operation and integration, leading to the establishment of an economic union in West Africa ….” Read more

ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS)

In line with its objective of promoting cooperation and integration and as one step towards the creation of a common market which, according to the ECOWAS Revised Treaty, should be established, among others, through “the liberalisation of trade by the abolition, among Member States, of customs duties levied on imports and exports, and the abolition among Member States, of non-tariff barriers in order to establish a free trade area at the Community Level“ Read more

ECOWAP Regional Agri­cul­tural Invest­ment Pro­gramme

In 2005 the ECOWAS Heads of States adopted the ECOWAS Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP), as an instrument for the coordination of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), the agricultural component of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), within the region. The implementation of ECOWAS/CAADP is based on the Regional Agricultural Investment Programme (RAIP), which consists of six components. Read more

Transport Facilitation Project

To accelerate effective facilitation of road transport, ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions elaborated the Regional Road Transport and Transit Facilitation Programme for West Africa by harmonizing their transit facilitation programmes. The components of this programme involve, inter alia, the following activities: Simplification and harmonization of road transport regulations, procedures and documents; Establishment of joint control posts at borders along inter-State corridors; Updating of the road transit information system. Read more

EPA Development Programme

The EPA Development Programme (EPADP) is based on the vision of the region and has the overall goal of building a competitive and harmonious regional economy that is integrated into the global economy and stimulates growth and sustainable development. Specifically, the programme is aimed at supporting the West Africa region to draw full benefit from the opportunities offered by the EPA and reduce the negative effects of the agreement. Read more