Conclusion and Policy Recommendations: Concrete Strategies for Advancing Trade Facilitation Agenda and Fostering Regional Economic Development in West Africa



Regional and international trade integration is crucial for the socio-economic and political transformation of West Africa. Inter-regional trade among countries in the continent grew to 15 per cent in the last decades; exports grew much faster at more than 15 per cent. Regional economic integration globally advances growth as well as development through job creation, political cooperation, and a more aggressive intra-regional trade. During the global recession, many of the regions that were integrated economically showed accelerated growth and resilience in regional trade. Thus, Africa’s integration into the global markets, especially with Europe, is expected to improve and so is its trade relations with other continents, including its relations with the United States, which will gain greater acceleration. The regional blocks of the East, South, and West African nations are at the forefront in the area of intra-regional trade. ECOWAS and SADC are part of the five regional communities that have done so much in regional integration on the continent. Trade among African countries has also led to competitive markets among these countries. Based on this background, the purpose of this chapter is to articulate a strategy that allows for effective participation by all West Africans in the regional trade and development process. This requires the implementation of a strategy which will be more effective if carried out at the local levels in a bottom-top approach (like the Saemaul Undong Movement SUM).


Rural development Trade facilitation Regional economic development Innovation Saemaul Undong Movement (SUM) Strategy ECOWAS West Africa 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Accounting, Economics and FinanceSchool of Business and Technology, Marymount UniversityArlingtonUSA
  2. 2.Cross-Border Education Research DivisionAmerican Heritage University of Southern California (AHUSC)OntarioUSA
  3. 3.Centre for the Research on Political Economy (CREPOL)DakarSenegal

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