INTRODUCTION TO STRUCTURE OF WEST AFRICAN ECONOMY
By ogwuche Ali Augustine
Countries In West Africa
There are Over eighteen countries Presently in West Africa. The Countries include ; Benin republic, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra- Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, and Togo.
Around early February, 2017, fifteen of these countries are members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). ECOWAS is a regional economic union for West Africa Countries. As of February, 2017, Sao Tome and Principe, Saint Helena, and Mauritania were not members of ECOWAS. Mauritania was a member of ECOWAS and one of the founding fathers of the Union until 1999 when it declared its interest of leaving the union on some grounds. The country finally left the group in 2000 .
Economic Structure of West Africa
Economic structure is the changing balance of production, trade, incomes and employment drawn from the different sectors that make up an economy. It is a classification of an economy according to the proportion of the production of goods and services by the primary, secondary and tertiary sector. The primary sector entails extraction of raw materials; secondary sector deals with convertion of raw materials into finish goods and tertiary sector concentrate on offering intangeble goods. Goods without physical nature are known as intangible goods.
In Macro Economics, changes in economic structure of any given region have been identified as a natural economic phenomenon. Exactly the way we can talk about each country of the world as an economy, so each continent also has its own economy (which is an average of activities pertaining to production, Consumption and distribution of scarce resources within a given time). In line with this context, the economy of West Africa is the reflection of the average balance in the economic indices of production, trade, incomes and employment as pertaining to all African economies. All activities in each economy of the world occur in peculiar areas in which economic activities (production, distribution, and consumption) are of this same category. This is the pure expression for economic sector.
The Production Sector
Production is the processes, activities and methods used to transform tangible inputs (raw materials, semifinished goods, subassemblies) and intangible inputs (ideas, information, knowledge) into goods or services for human consumption. Several resources are used in this process to create an output that is suitable for use or has exchange value for consumers. The production sector is the real power sector of an economy. It refers to all sectors of an economy where goods and services are actually produced, distributed and consumed.
In any economy, production sector is classified into three main economic activities.
(i) The Primary Sector
(ii) The Secondary Sector
(iii) The Tertiary Sector