PoliticsNews & AnalysisWest Africa's economies trumpet same tune

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Posted on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 18:26

West Africa's economies trumpet same tune

By The Africa Report

For the first time in a generation, the three elephants of West Africa are all pulling in the same direction.

With democratically elected leaders in all three, West Africa's prospects are looking up/Image/All Rights ReservedAs Ghana was emerging from its decade of coup and counter coup in the 1970s, Nigeria was drifting into 20 years of military rule.

When Olusegun Obasanjo was installed as Nigeria's civilian president in 1999, Côte d'Ivoire was entering the poisonous years of Ivoirité and "neither war nor peace".

Now, with democratically elected leaders in all three, West Africa's prospects are looking up. 


Already, a strong axis of cooperation is forming between Abuja and Abidjan, after Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan's strong support for embattled Ivorian leader Alassane Ouattara.

Ghana was more cautious about the exit of Côte d'Ivoire's ­Laurent Gbagbo in April, and several of his supporters have found refuge in Accra.

However, the burgeoning oil business in Ghana may well dissolve differences between the two.

Nigerian companies are already finding rich pickings in Ghana, shaking up the sleepy banking sector and expanding into oil and gas.


Peaceful resolutions of tensions in Guinea and Niger, and relative progress in Sierra Leone and Liberia, mean that these countries also have a chance to trade with their larger neighbours.

All that is needed is for treaties on the free passage of people and goods to be properly enforced.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 19:53

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