Economic Community of West African States
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional group of fifteen West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

n countries. Founded on 28 May 1975, with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos
Treaty of Lagos
The Economic Community of West African States was created by the Treaty of Lagos on May 28, 1975 in Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria. ECOWAS was established to promote cooperation and integration in order to create an economic and monetary union for promoting economic growth and development in West...

, its mission is to promote economic integration across the region.

Considered one of the pillars of the African Economic Community
African Economic Community
The African Economic Community is an organization of African Union states establishing grounds for mutual economic development among the majority of African states...

, the organization was founded in order to achieve "collective self-sufficiency" for its member states by creating a single large trading bloc through an economic and trading union.