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     ECOGO (ECOWAS Free Movement Policy and Governance Programme)


The high incidence of bribes and illegal payments at border posts are impediments to the free movement of goods and persons in West Africa!
High costs of taxation and low capacity use make intra and inter trade within the region more expensive. Manufactured exports that depend on imported inputs are made less competitive in global markets while high costs of trading and exacerbated bribery, long delays, inefficient transport and poor infrastructure yield capital flights and loss of confidence in West Africa trade system. In all, regional economy is weakened, movements of community citizens obstructed and rights denied.

The treaty establishing the Economic Community of West Africa (Treaty of ECOWAS) guarantees every citizen of the sub-region the right to freedom of movement. Article 59 (1) of the Treaty stipulates:

  • Citizens of the Community (ECOWAS) shall have the right of entry, residence and establishment and Member States undertake these rights of Community citizens in their territories in accordance with the provisions of the Protocol relating thereto.
  • Member States undertake to adopt all appropriate measures that Community Citizens enjoy fully the rights referred in paragraph 1 of the Article.
  • Member States undertake to adopt, at national level, all measures necessary for the effective implementation of the provisions of this Article.

Despite the provisions of the Treaty and a Protocol on free movement of persons and goods, freedom of movement remains difficult across West Africa. The security agencies along the route, by their actions, poses a great challenge to the implementation of the ECOWAS Protocol on free movement of goods and persons in West Africa. Research reveals that the number of checkpoints along the Mile2- Badagry- Seme axis is approximately 53!!

Policy Consult through the ECOWAS Free Movement Policy and Governance (ECOGO) Project will support the West Africa institution in achieving the implementation of its protocol on interstate transit facilitation without hassles.

is an information system that will gather and diffuse information about bribes, delays and harassments in West Africa regional road transport. We would be collecting data on bribes and delays and feed them to an ECOGO database for analysis from which we will soon be producing tables and graphs for quarterly reports.

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