n African Renaissance - ECOWAS and democratic reversals in West Africa

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


ECOWAS has made some glaring and commendable strides in the subregion. Apart from economic integration and free movement of its member states, it has pacified the political turbulence in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the aftermath of the Cold War, and created a fertile political ground for democracy to flourish in both countries. However, questions are being asked as to whether the new instabilities that have engulfed the region in the locations of Togo, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Guinea Bissau are propelling the region back to the path of the 'bad old days'. In response, this paper seeks to analyse whether ECOWAS possesses sufficient arrows in its quiver and enough political will to confront the new complex political challenges. Borrowing Jungian psychological expression, the author asserts that the subregion is threading the part of political 'individuation', and reminds readers that it took Europe more than two centuries to attain political equilibrium.

A peep into the dusty cellars of historical archives will inform us that Africa had been treated to the gory episodes of assault to its democratic structures occasioned by frequent military coups. The incursion of the military into politics had in turn dwarfed the region's incremental gains in terms of democratic dividends.

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