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A Perspective on Collective Security and Regional Stability in the West African Region

Bature, Elizabeth Aishatu, Ph.D,


The promotion of peace and security in Africa necessitates security cooperation between states and collective security remains a way to pursue it. The centuries of experiences so far in the international efforts for finding global peace shows that the traditional concepts of security do not provide adequate solutions for the current challenges of inter-state conflict and regional instability. The paper, which is qualitative and analytical in approach, sourced data from secondary sources analysed through content analysis. Anchored on the Regional Security Complex Theory (RSCT) developed by Barry Buzan and Ole Weaver, it revealed that West Africa is confronted with a surge of complex security challenges, withterrorism and insurgency being the most devastating in recent times. Since, the emerging security complexes are by nature geographical, individual states cannot solve them on their own, thus requiring regional efforts and cooperation. This necessitated ECOWAS Member states to adopt comprehensive strategies and initiatives. It concludes that while prospects for implementation of ECOWAS strategies abound, it equally faces several challenges, which can be surmountable. It recommends, amongst others, that regional responses will require a commitment by the leadership of member states to harmonise policies and work together in spite of their varied national interests and resource gaps. Keywords: Collective- Security, Security, Regional- Stability, West – Africa, Region.

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