Mali, B’Faso, Niger to face exclusion from $702bn ECOWAS market
Burkina Faso, Mali, and the Niger Republic are scheduled to withdraw from the $702 billion Economic Community of West African States, after their withdrawals.
The PUNCH reported that this potential departure might increase the region’s already severe food insecurity and have unfavourable effects on already vulnerable economies.
According to a Bloomberg study published on Wednesday, the three landlocked nations are among the poorest in the region, with yearly gross domestic product per person of less than $1,000. It said that they would be subject to higher tariffs and limitations on the flow of finance and goods as they left the ECOWAS region.
The head of macro-strategy at FIM Partners, Charlie Robertson, stated in an email about the exit, “The military coup leaders who control Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have managed to score the silliest own goal since the UK voted for Brexit.
“They take out eight per cent of Ecowas’ GDP and lose access to markets like Nigeria and Ghana, which together have a GDP of $467bn.”
Trade between the 15 members of the economic bloc is dominated by Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Nigeria. It is currently relatively small at $277 million, but has the potential to grow to as much as $2 billion over the next few years, according to the International Trade Centre (2023). Members of the bloc benefit from the free movement of people, capital, and goods within it.
The three countries’ departure from ECOWAS may have a negative impact on the region’s $277.22 billion in trade with the rest of the globe as well as the bloc’s contribution to the African Continental Free Trade Area.
On Sunday, the three countries in a joint statement released in Ouagadougou, Bamako, and Niamey by their military leaders, Capt. Ibrahim Traoré (Burkina Faso), Col. Assimi Goita (Mali), and Brig. Gen. Abdourahamane Tiani (Niger Republic), announced their withdrawal from the regional economic bloc.
According to them, “After 49 years of existence, the valiant people of Burkina, Mali, and Niger note with much regret, bitterness, and great disappointment that their organization has moved away from the ideals of its founding fathers and pan-Africanism.”
“Taking all their responsibilities in the face of history and responding to the expectations, concerns, and aspirations of their populations, decide in complete sovereignty on the immediate withdrawal of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger from the Economic Community of West African States.”