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Cross-border networking and identity integration within ECOWAS framework on development: an exploration of Nigerian-Ivorian Corridor

Adebusuyi A.I. Adeniran, Obafemi Awolowo University

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) intends to transmute from “ECOWAS of States to ECOWAS of People”. This is, perhaps, due to inherent limitations in achieving its desired aims in the 1979 and 2003 “protocols on free movement of persons and goods” within the sub-region. This study examines the extent to which the ‘people’ interpret and re-interpret the intents of the protocols in their day-to-day living. Using the Ejigbo-Yoruba in Cote d’Ivoire, the study interrogates the pattern and potency of related cross-border positioning of identity in the realization of envisaged regional integration and development goals. While socio-economic survival within the host country has been the underlying impetus for the Ejigbo-Nigerians identification with the Ivorian society, the need for convenient re-integration into the Nigerian society thereafter has necessitated the sustenance of their Nigerian cleavage. Nevertheless, such interaction is seen as capable of fostering larger regional integration and development.

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Presented in Session 118: Migration and adaptation of migrants