Professor of Economic History at the Faculty of History of University of Cambridge, Prof Gareth Austin has downplayed efforts of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) in consolidating the economy of its member states.
ECOWAS, a West Africa Countries blog was formed in 1975 to foster interstate economic and political cooperation for the general advancement of the West sub Saharan African countries.
But Prof Gareth Austin asserts that the body has only been effective as security organisation whiles ensuring political cooperation but has not been effective as an economic organization.
“It’s very important that ECOWAS becomes economic organisation becomes the individual markets are too small for trade. Even Nigeria is too small. So far ECOWAS is effective as security organisation but not effective as economic organisation as implied its name” he said.
The Cambridge Professor who spoke at a forum organized the by the Institute of Economic Affair (IEA) in Accra, Tuesday, urged government to create the enabling environment for industrialization.
“Private sector left to itself has never led to industrialization without the state interventions. Where there is a successful industrialization the state has always played an active role.
It doesn’t mean the state has should own companies but the state must create the enabling environment in facilitating the private sector to industrialize.” Prof Austin said.