Former Cape Verdean minister fiercely denounce ECOWAS

Praia- Cape Verde (PANA) -- Former Cape Verdean Finance minister, Jose Tomas Veiga has described ECOWAS as "a complete failure", arguing that the organisation and its motto, regional economic integration, are hitherto only "a mere mirage".
In an article published in the first release of the new Cape Verdean weekly magazine, Expresso das Ilhas, Tomas Veiga, one of the leaders of the Movement for Democracy (MPD, main opposition party), said that there isn't any valid reason justifying the organisation's continuation.
According to Veiga, ECOWAS' failure was caused by political and economic factors.
He explained that from a political viewpoint, regional integration is incompatible with the climate of insecurity and the bloody conflicts rife within and between several countries of the region.
On the economic front, he considered that the west African economies have not yet reached a level of internal diversification likely to enable the development of their mutual exchanges, compared to the similar organisations which have met with some success.
"Nil is Cape Verde's participation in ECOWAS," he averred, saying that the unique positive aspect is the possibility for the Cape Verdean people to freely move within the community.
However, that free movement had a negative impact on Cape Verde in that it somewhat transformed the country, land of migrants, into a host country for West African emigrants, Veiga decried.
He, therefore, questioned the interest for his country to keep being part of ECOWAS and "supporting the organisation's bureaucracy".
But Veiga's article sparked strong reactions from several personalities who advocate Cape Verde's integration into the West African sub-region.
The Foreign, Co-operation and Communities Minister, Manuel Inocêncio Sousa, said on Radio Cape Verde that the government still considers that an effective integration into ECOWAS is part of the fundamental aspects of the Archipelago's economic development strategy.

19 december 2001 23:26:00

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