Assessing the Role of Trade Liberalization in Facilitating Trade Flows and Economic Expansion: Evidence from ECOWAS Countries

  • Folasade Bosede AdegboyeEmail author
  • Oluwatoyin A. Matthew
  • Jeremiah Ejemeyovwi
  • Olumide S. Adesina
  • Romanus Osabohien
Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)


Liberalization of trade is a universal subject globally and in the West African region as well. Despite liberalization policies, there are fundamental concerns that are inherent regarding the West African region, depicting minimal intra-regional trade as against higher inter-regional trade for the region, including an enormous level of unaccounted exports, making development for the region rather implausible. This study aimed at examining the effect of trade liberalization on economic development in the (ECOWAS) region. It used pooled data for fourteen West African countries for the period within years 2000 and 2017. The method of analysis utilized was the pooled ordinary least square baseline regression, generalized least square, fixed and random effect model technique. The study found the trade liberalization had insignificant impact in relation to economic development for the region. It was discovered that the member countries despite efforts regarding liberalization were not at all ready for the technicalities of liberalization to say the least, hence consequently showing reason for minimal and unaccountable trade within the region. Thus, the study recommends that the government of ECOWAS countries should consider their level of readiness to generously benefit from the policies regarding liberalization in the region. It is beneficial as well, that the level and accountability of intra-regional trade should be enhanced so as to ensure that gains of these strategies are fully exploited by member economies to provide required increase in income, better education, improved life expectancy, enhanced socio-economic environment adequate to create anticipated economic development for the ECOWAS member countries.


Trade liberalization Trade facilitation Globalization Foreign direct investment economic development ECOWAS region 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Folasade Bosede Adegboye
    • 1
    Email author
  • Oluwatoyin A. Matthew
    • 2
  • Jeremiah Ejemeyovwi
    • 2
  • Olumide S. Adesina
    • 3
  • Romanus Osabohien
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Banking and FinanceCovenant UniversityOtaNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Economics and Development StudiesCovenant UniversityOtaNigeria
  3. 3.Department of Mathematical SciencesOlabisi Onabanjo UniversityAgo IwoyeNigeria

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