Economic Chill? Sahel Exit From ECOWAS Threatens Africa’s Rise

Economic Chill? Sahel Exit From ECOWAS Threatens Africa’s Rise.

A Non-Governmental Organization has expressed concern over the decision of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso to withdraw their membership from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), stating it will negatively impact Africa’s development and industrialization.

Recall that the military regimes of these three Sahel nations announced their immediate withdrawal from ECOWAS “without delay”.

However, in a press statement made available to LEADERSHIP, the Chief Executive Officer of ECK Foundation, Emeka Kalu, said that this decision implies that ECOWAS is no longer a strong Sub-Saharan African organisation.

According to him, the countries’ decision will further polarise the continent and retard development speed, developmental delay, and create other bottlenecks in critical areas.

“The decision of these countries to depart from the West African economic bloc known as ECOWAS confirmed how truly disunited the African continent has been. Following the usurpation of power by the military that removed the elected Presidents of the aforementioned States, things have not returned to their normal shape, as several sanctions were slammed on the nations as measures to get the military leaders to reverse their actions by restoring the toppled constituted government to power.

“One would not forget in a hurry the level of corruption and misrule the citizens of these countries have undergone that led to the military coup that toppled their government. In the face of corruption and abuse of power by elected civilian leaders, a coup d’état is risked to be the only alternative means through which power could change hands. When this happens, a national conference should be quickly held with the comity of nations’ intervention for deliberation and resolution, not through the use of illegality and sanctions,” Kalu stated.

“The military in government is then expected to hand over power in line with the consensus reached towards bringing lasting solutions to the problems, but the use of economic sanctions to punish innocent citizens of the affected nation-states is anti-human, as no government survives in the face of crisis and denial of access to basic life amenities.”

Kalu, who frowned at the military coup, however, criticised ECOWAS for imposing sanctions on the Sahel countries instead of pursuing dialogue.

“I do not support the military remaining in power against popular democracy, but dialogue through strategic reforms and policy implementation could have served as the best alternative to levelling strict sanctions.

“This continued denial of the citizens’ access to electricity, gasoline supplies, and other basic infrastructural facilities is believed to have caused the trio to pull out of ECOWAS. The affected sovereign states acted rightly in withdrawing since their continued allegiance to the bloc was no longer serving the best interests of their citizens, leaving them with no option but to exit. The implication is that the current ECOWAS, no matter how strong, is no longer a strong Sub-Saharan African organisation.”

“The fact that the economic body is gradually becoming weak means that Africa’s development speed is reasonably retarded and bound to experience delays and other bottlenecks in critical areas of life, especially in the continued fight against terrorism.

“The strength of every organisation lies in the degree of unity it enjoys amongst the member States, and unless this matter is resolved, it is difficult for Africa to achieve rapid economic and bilateral growth as obtainable in Europe and American continents where NATO, G24, and other blocs are used to tackle national and global challenges. The faster the African Union (AU) and other relevant bilateral stakeholders converge to resolve this anomaly, the speedier Africa recovers from the heat burns of disunity, political disorder, and lawlessness,” the statement read.



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