These countries took a common stand that was against the lavish subsidies that are showered on farmers in Western countries as that gave them an unfair handle for staying ahead of their poorer West African country cousins. In a global economy the most efficient, i.e. only those that are able to produce at lowest cost can and will survive. With the safety cushion of ample government subsidies and the additional benefit of mechanised agriculture, the farmers in industrially developed countries would quite obviously snuff ECOWAS farmers out of business.
But, some economists feel that removal of government subsidies in Western countries would neither ensure safe existence of ECOWAS farmers nor would usher in prosperity in Western African countries. Their development would be possible only when regional economic integration and improved regional infrastructure is achieved.
Africa has always been a hotbed of strife, war and riots – among communities, tribes and more often than not those promoted by governments that have incorporated low scale surrogate war against politically opposing countries as matter of state policy. Blood has been shed in Africa for reasons that may be remote or even bizarre when viewed through the prism of western sensibilities. The bloody footprints of war have messed countries right from Liberia to Sierra Leone to Guinea to Guinea-Bissau in swathe of instability and human deprivation that are inseparable outcomes from any form civil strife. However, West Africa has gone a step or two ahead of other African sub-regions in the sense that West African countries have been able to establish an international entity to monitor, arbitrate, and most importantly, prevent any further regional strife from flaring up and inflicting further human miseries.1 The Economic Community of West African States Cease-fire Monitoring