Africa Rising

Regional Economic Integration and Trade Facilitation: The Case of the ECOWAS

16 December
13:30 - 15:00


TDS LIVE | Regional Economic Integration and Trade Facilitation: The Case of the ECOWAS

Session objectives 

After almost 20 years of discussions on Trade Facilitation (TF) the WTO made a commitment to simplify and harmonize trade procedures on a global scale. The implementation of the TF Agreement can promote the expansion of global value chains so that countries can benefit from trade, in terms of economic growth, diversification and employment. This is very much needed as we observe inefficient customs procedures, varying product standards within a region and a lack of adequate transport infrastructure hampering trade. Pursuing an approach that focuses on regional as well as the national level is essential. In all activities the private sector should be included, as traders will be the main beneficiaries of TF. 
The effects of regional economic integration (REI) and TF are often mutually reinforcing. REI initiatives establish rules and regulations that promote intra-regional trade. TF measures simplify national administrative procedures, cut the costs of exporting and importing and therefore are a key to boost intra-regional trade and foster regional cooperation.
The ECOWAS Region is a good example for the approach of working on both levels: regional as well as national to address the issues of customs, quality infrastructure and transport. 
German Development Cooperation assists its partners in implementing various TF measures based on the experience that for meaningful economic integration it is essential to address the individual Member States as well as the regional level.


  • Head of Project, German Development Cooperation
  • Deputy Director Genera Global Cooperation, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Research Fellow, German Institute for International and Security Affairs
  • Director of External Trade, Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Senegal
  • Principal Program Officer Multilateral Trade, ECOWAS
  • Director of Trade, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nigeria