Do Regional Characteristics and Sub-regional Integration Matter in Intra-ECOWAS Trade on Livestock Products?

Jonathan Reuben, Chukwuemeka John Arene


The purpose of this paper is to empirically analyze the trade potentials in the West African region. It starts with review of livestock products import and export within and outside the region and the bilateral strength of livestock trade regionalism was also tested using trade intensity index. Also the effects of WAEMU sub-regional integration and ECOWAS regional characteristics on intra-ECOWAS trade were assessed using the gravity model. This was achieved by employing panel data for the period of 11years (2001-2011). The results suggest high import than export of livestock products within and between regions. The level of trade regionalization was relatively high in WAEMU sub-region than ECOWAS region. The traditional gravity variables were consistent with the gravity theory. Also the alternative hypothesis that trade blocs, economic and geographical variables did significantly influence trade in the sub-region was accepted at 1% probability level. The study therefore, recommends that more efforts be made to remove non-tariff barriers in order to promote intra-ECOWAS trade on livestock products since trade diversion was noticed.

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