The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional group of fifteen countries, founded in 1975. Its mission is to promote economic integration in all fields of economic activity, including transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, commerce, monetary and financial questions, social and cultural matters. The member states are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
According to Desire Ouedraogo, the president of the ECOWAS Commission, the organization’s intermediate goal is to realize the 2020 vision of moving from an “ECOWAS of states to an ECOWAS of people’’ within a single prosperous economic space in which the people transact business and live in dignity and peace under the rule of law and good governance.
Based on the stated objective, we have outlined several ways in which ECOWAS could transform itself into a global superpower for the interest of African people at home and in the Diaspora.
Unite to Create a Black Superpower
Nigerian author Chinweizu in his Black Power Pan-Africanism (BPPA) Manifesto wrote: “A Black superpower in Africa is the key factor for restoring global respect and self-respect to the Black race; therefore, building this superpower is our paramount project. For, as Marcus Garvey taught us, A race without authority and power is a race without respect.”
With a population of over 300 million people and a geographical land mass of almost 2 million square miles, a political union of ECOWAS member states or “The New Songhai Republic” would have as many people as the United States and a larger land mass than the European Union or India.
Another Black superpower could also be created out of the territory and population of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), with 277 million people and a land mass larger than the entire United States – including all territories.