However,ECOWAS has focused and achieved more in the cooperative application ofpolitical and security issues (Maiangwa, 2014,p.
20). ECOWAS has furtherattempted to increase cooperation among member states by establishing theEconomic and Social Council, the Community Court of Justice and the CommunityParliament. In particular, ECOWAS has applied several mechanisms to enhanceintegration among its member states. Stated briefly ECOWAS member states haveallowed the free movement of its member state citizens. Ithas also reduced trade tariffs among its member states which has increasedeconomic growth (Hartzenberg, 2011,pp.
16-18). This, in turn, has led to theallocation of broader markets for service, capital and goods among ECOWASmember states. There have applications of some standardisation of theeducational curriculum among its constituting countries.
ECOWAS has facilitatedpeace processes among its member states such as in the cases of Liberia, SierraLeone and more recently the intervention in The Gambia to ensure the transferof political powers after democratic elections (Babatunde, 2017). ECOWASsimilar to the EAC and the AU considered earlier showed attempts at intuitionalcooperation. Itfollows that both at the continental and regional level the extent of successof African states to institutionalise cooperation needs to assessed which leadsto the final part of this essay. At a continental level, the Organisation ofAfrican Unity (OAU) and its successor the African Union (AU) were discussed.
TheOAU had been a defective organisation with structural weaknesses due to thenature of the African states post colonially and the organisations obsessionwith non-interference in the affairs of member states. The organisation’ssituation and capacity hindered its ability to implement solutions or preventsignificant conflicts noticeably the Western Sahara conflict (Murithi,2008,p.74). Hence the OAU was largely unsuccessful as an institution taskedwith facilitating cooperation among African states (Murithi, 2008,p.74).
Withregard to African Union (AU), the successful formation of the Peace andSecurity Council was applied in order to address the structural weakness of itspredecessor the OAU. To illustrate this the Peace and Security Councilcoordinated with the Assembly of the AU in order to facilitate the use anddeployment of peacekeepers in the Darfur crises (Murithi, 2008,pp.75-76). Furthermore,the AU’s member state Togo was sanctioned due to the illegal transfer of powerwhich contravened the AU’s principles in 2005 (Murithi, 2008,p.77).
The AU hasbecome more interventionist in the affairs of its member states due to themajority cooperation of African states through legal structures (Murithi,2008,p.78). However, the AU despite having moderate successes still has severalfailures. Thecrises in Darfur is still ongoing with no cessation of hostilities in EastSudan (Ssenyonjo and Nakitto, 2016,pp.92-93).
Despite the presence of AU leadpeacekeepers several war crimes including rape, kidnapping and attacks oncivilians continue to occur within the areas the AU operates in Darfurindicating its failure in peacekeeping objectives (Ssenyonjo and Nakitto,2016,pp.94-95). Nevertheless, violence in the Darfur has largely decreasedsince 2004 and thus at a continental level, the AU is moderately moresuccessful than the OAU at instituting cooperation among African states(Ssenyonjo and Nakitto, 2016,pp.94-95).Withreference to the cooperation among the regional organisations, the SenegambianConfederation was a failure with little noticeable success. The regions of East African Community (EAC)and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have achieved somesuccesses but equally suffered some failures. Their member states haveconventionally refused to cede sovereignty with a few exceptions (Herbst,2014,p.102).
Thus these member states have impeded integration due to theirrefusal to withdraw their own decision-making powers at a regional level inorder to prevent constraint by institutions of EAC and ECOWAS (Herbst,2014,p.103). Additionally,political, economic and ideological differences exist between the leaders ofthe regions member states hence this ultimately leads to failures incooperation to achieve all common objectives (Tordoff, 1997,p.275). Equally,this restrains additional cooperation and reluctance towards integration(Tordoff, 1997,p.
275). At aregional level, both the EAC and ECOWAS suffer from inadequate infrastructuralbase combined with defective economic policy planning and management (Chazan,1999,p.317). This is demonstrated through the on-going restricted intraregionaltrade among EAC and ECOWAS member states that are focused on export and thustheir infrastructures are geared towards this process (Chazan, 1999,p.318).This is more evident in ECOWAS as a region where the overwhelming majority ofits member states produce cocoa (Chazan, 1999,p.
318).Furthermore,member states of EAC and ECOWAS are also members of several regionalorganisations which lead to disagreements which in turn impeded regionalintegration and further cooperation. For example, Tanzania was a member of theEast African Community (EAC), The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa(COMESA) and The Southern African Development Community (SADC) (Akokpari etal., 2009,p.99). As aresult, there are different import tariffs which member states face this leadsto challenges including trade deflection (Akokpari et al., 2009,p.100).
However, there are potential benefits to this arrangement. Investors within andoutside the member states of the EAC and ECOWAS can utilise this as a largermarket base by gaining entry to the market of one member state will ensure entranceinto all the regional markets in place. Toconclude the moderate cooperation among the African Union (AU) has been betterand more extensive the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). At a regionallevel, the Senegambian Confederation had largely failed. With regard to theEast African Community (EAC) and the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS), there have been significant successes in the political and securityfields but low successes in the economics field.
There are opportunities forboth regions to adopt broader policies for integration in with definitiveaction to accept the loss of some state sovereignty for greater economicbenefits.