Thursday, June 15, 2006

Watch Out, People! ECOWAS is Coming Closer to You!

Efforts to make regional integration real and palpable to ECOWAS citizens have always been a bit of a challenge. So it is with great joy, for example, to read an article from the Daily Observer of the Gambia here that the President of the ECOWAS Court of Justice , Justice Hansine Donli, is indicating that "citizens of ECOWAS countries can file cases directly either by fax or send their application to the court in Abuja, Nigeria".

The practicalities behind this new revelation might be a bit more problematic than the semantics; nonetheless, it is heart-warming that an attempt to make regional integration palpable -- in the way the regional bank ECOBANK has by way of its recent product, the so-called DSA, or Direct Sales Agency Service, where potential customers on ECOBANK products are targetted in their homes, offices, etc -- is being made more comprehensively.

According to Justice Donlie, teh Court "shall grant audience to member states and the member states may file actions on behalf of the nationals of the member states against other member states or institutions in respect of the interpretation and application of the treaties of the community".

Mind you, it was as far back as 2005 that, according to an article on the WILDAF site here, individuals were granted access to the Court. The amendment on the protocol was made in August 2004.
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