ECOWAS, Economic Community of West African States, undertook the
difficult task of bringing economic and political unity to West
Africa. One of its major goals was to bring together the
economies of the mostly small nations, hoping the combined
economic power would allow the countries to compete better than
any one state could do on its own.
objective remains to "promote co-operation and integration in
order to create an economic and monetary union for encouraging
economic growth and development in West Africa," according to
the group's Web site. The group has taken several steps to
accomplish this, moving to eliminate custom duties and similar
taxes, establish a common external tariff and create a uniform
ECOWAS include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire,
Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania,
Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
The West African Regional
block, has pledge an ECOWAS-led multinational force of 3,500
troops to the Liberian Peace Keeping effort.
Ibn Chambas - Executive Secretary of
the West African regional bloc ECOWAS. Dr Mohamed Ibn
Chambas, a lawyer and political scientist, was born in Ghana on
December 7, 1950.
He attended Mfantsipim School,
Cape Coast and Government Secondary School, Tamale. He holds
degrees in Political Science from University of Ghana, Legon,
(B.A. 1973) and Cornell University Ithaca, New York (M.A. 1977,
Ph D (1980). He has a law degree from Western Reserve
University, Cleveland, Ohio. He was admitted to practice law in
Ghana and the State of Ohio.
Kufuor - Ghanaian President and ECOWAS chairman.
John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor is 62.
He went to Oxford University
where he studied law, and earned a Masters degree in philosophy,
political science and economics.
Nigeria - 300 Nigerian soldiers were the first wave
of peacekeepers to reach Liberia and they received a
heroes' welcome from residents of the Liberian capital,
Monrovia. Nigeria has committed a total of 1,500 soldiers to the
Liberian Peacekeeping effort.
The Nigerian peacekeepers flew
aboard U.N. helicopters and cargo planes to Roberts
International Airport, about 40 miles [64 kilometers] outside
Monrovia, to the glee of residents who braved a driving
Brigadier General Festus Okonkwo - The Commander of
ECOWAS Vanguard Force, and the
Nigerian force commander.
250 from Benin
95 soldiers from Ghana
- 1,500 troops from Nigeria
- 250 from Senegal
- 250 from Mali
Mike Owolabi, a Nigerian UN peacekeeper
Theophilus Tawiah -
Chief-of-Staff of the West African
peacekeeping force, Ecomil, Tawiah
is from Ghana.
United States pledged $10m
to fund the start of the peacekeeping operation in Liberia.
France promised to assist with logistics and more