West African Economic Community

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West African Economic Community

West African Economic Community Outline

Also called “Communauté Economique de l’Afrique Occidentale”. The CEAO was established in 1973. It consists of a number of West African countries, such as the Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Upper Volta. A Community Development Fund was established in 1976. The centre of the community is located in Ouagadougou (Upper Volta).(1)



  1. John Mo, International Commercial Law

West African Economic Community or Communaute Economique de I’ Afrique de l’Ouest (CEAO) in relation with International Trade

In the context of trade organizations, Christopher Mark (1993) provided the following definition of West African Economic Community or Communaute Economique de I’ Afrique de l’Ouest (CEAO): A customs union including Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal. It was founded in 1973, superseding the Customs Union of West African States. Objectives include elimination of internal tariffs and nontariff barriers to intra-regional trade; establishment of a common external tariff; freer labor mobility within the region; development of transportation and communications linkages; and harmonization of investment rules. Intra-regional trade in raw materials is largely duty-free. However, tariff-cutting procedures give members wide latitude to exclude sensitive products from liberalization, limiting coverage of manufactures and processed goods to products with little potential for intra-regional trade. Fewer than 500 products receive regional preferences. A community convention permitting free flow of migrant workers is in place.

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