WEST AFRICA ECONOMIC AND MONETARY UNION
01 B.P. 543 Telephone: 31-8873/6 Ouagadougou 01 Facsimile: 31-8872 Burkina Faso E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.uemoa.int Commissioners Benin ... Félix Essou DANSOU Burkina Faso: ... Frédéric Assomption KORSAGA Côte d'Ivoire: ... DOUA BI KALOU Guinea-Bissau: ... Pedro A. GODINHO GOMES Mali: ... Younoussi TOURE Niger: ... Laouali BARAOU Senegal: ... Moussa TOURE, President Togo: ... Tchaa-Kozah TCHALIM
ESTABLISHMENT AND FUNCTIONS
The West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), was created on January 10, 1994, in a context where the extent of the economical crisis and the inadequacy of applied solutions showed the limits of economic abilities that cannot be ignored. Higher contracting parties learned profitable lessons. With the originality of its main institutions and the use of a common currency, therefore, UEMOA appears as a manifestation of the determination to succeed an integration scheme, never experimented before in Africa.
UEMOA main objectives are: (1) to reinforce the competitiveness of the economic and financial activities of Member States in the context of an open and rival market and a rationalized and harmonized juridical environment; (2) to ensure the convergence of the macro-economic performances and policies of Member States with the institution of a multilateral control procedure; (3) to create a common market among Member States based on the free circulation of the people, goods, services, and capital and on the right of people exercising an independent or remunerated activity to establish a common external tariff as well as a common commercial policy; (4) to institute a coordination for the national sector-based policies with the implementation of common actions and conceivably common policies, especially in the following domains: community-based land reclamation, agriculture, environment, transport, infrastructures, telecommunications, human resources, energy, industries, mines, and crafts; and (5) to harmonize the legislation, especially the fiscal system, of the Member States if the necessity arose for the proper functioning of the common market.
8 member countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo
The supreme organ of the Union is the Authority of the Heads of States and Governments, which meets at least once a year. The Authority defines the overall guidelines of the Union's policy and passes, when necessary, additional acts to the Union Treaty.
The Council of Ministers meets at least twice a year and is responsible for the implementation of the general policies defined by the Authority. The Council exercises the functions assigned to it by the Union Treaty. With a deliberate delegation from, and under the supervision of the Authority, the Council enforces acts (regulations, directives and decisions) passed by the Authority. It is also responsible for drawing up the Union budget.
The Commission is composed of eight members, called Commissioners, who are nationals of the Member States. The Commissioners are appointed by the Authority for a four-year term of office, which can be renewed an unlimited number of times. The Commission, which is also represented at all meetings of the Council, is delegated by the latter to give recommendations and opinions which it deems useful for the Union preservation and development. It is also responsible for executing the budget of the Union. The Commission is empowered to seize the Court of Justice when Member States fail to meet with the obligations that fall on them by operation of the community-based law.
Two other separate and distinct entities of the Union are the Court of Justice and the Court of Accounts. The Court of Justice is responsible for the interpretation and enforcement of community-based laws. It is composed of judges, one per country, appointed for a six-year term of office, which can be renewed an unlimited number of times. It referees disputes between Member States or between the Union and its agents. The Court of Accounts monitors the accounts of the Union institutions and the feasibility of budget data necessary to the multilateral monitoring operation. It comprises three Advisors, who are appointed for one renewable six-year term of office.
The Interparliamentary Committee, with headquarters in Bamako, Mali, comprises 40 members and meets at least twice a year. It plays an advisory and animation part in integration debates. It receives the Commission annual report and expresses its views in the form of reports or resolutions. The Committee takes precedence over the Union parliament, which must be responsible for the democratic control of the Union institutions.
The Regional Consular Board, formerly known as the Regional Consular Chamber, is an advisory institution with headquarters in Lomé, Togo. It is responsible for the achievement of the effective involvement of the private in UEMOA integration process, especially with (1) the participation on the integration process and implementation of revisions decided by the Union instituions, (2) the promotion of commercial exchanges and investments in the Union, and (3) the technical support to national consular boards and to the other members. The Board also gives its opinions on all questions pertaining to the attainment of the Union objectives, in particular, to (a) commercial, fiscal, customs, and social legislations; (b) commercial negotiations in which the Union participates; (c) the creation and operation of a Stock Market or produce exchange, economic observation posts; and (d) the monetary and economic policy. The Board assembles national consular boards, professional associations and employers’ organizations of the Member State
UPDATED: July 2, 2002