Most people don’t know why West Africa is uniquely different from other parts of Africa. Unlike other regions in Africa, West Africa has huge comparative advantage that makes the region one of the most investor’s friendly parts of Africa. However, like any other part of the world, West Africa also faces stiff global competition all area of its production segments. So, what distinguishes the region from other African regions?
Industrialization: West Africa is perhaps the most industrialized part of Africa. In fact, recent study shows that most of the countries in West Africa are implanting policies that encourage industrialization within the region. Even though the overall development of the region in terms of facilitating the emergence of new industries have been slow in the last decades, significant efforts by various government in West Africa have been put in place to foster industrialization across the region.
Trade Facilitation: West Africa seems to be the only region in Africa that has fully broken the barriers to the free movement of goods and services. The regional Bloc ECOWAS has played a major role in ensuring that markets within the region are easily and freely accessible. This has been made possible with the introduction of the ECOWAS passport.
|Dakar Sea Port
Regional Integration: The limited barrier to free movement of people, goods and services in the West Africa region has ensured the strengthening of the region’s integration resulting to vast benefits for the ECOWAS member states. Regional integration has also promoted cultural integration resulting to inter cultural exchange of ideas among member states through culture led programs and workshops.
Competitive Markets: Most markets within the region supports the local manufacturers in integrating into the global value chain. The strategy include developing low labor intensive and added value activities capitalizing on the low cost of labor available before transiting up to the value chain. This method has undoubtedly resulted to the creation of numerous jobs in the region.
Maritime Transport: The region has a formidable maritime transport system that facilitates goods movements around the region. There are specialized modern seaports terminals built and designated to handle the huge costal shipping activities and services within the region. The liberalization of the activities of maritime services within the ECOWAS member states has led to the process of strengthening and integrating the economies of most West African countries and attracts big players in the shipping industries to the region.
Viable Agricultural Hub: West Africa is blessed with favorable climate that has been vital in sustaining the region agriculture wise. Adequate rainfall and sunshine has ensured the region is self-sustaining in terms of food production. 40% of agricultural export from Africa comes from West Africa.