From its origins as an organisation mandated to promote economic integration, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has become increasingly involved in the promotion of security, development and the rule of law. ECOWAS and DCAF have forged over the years a long-standing partnership on disseminating and operationalising the principles of democratic governance in SSR/G processes in West Africa. 

Examples of DCAF collaboration with ECOWAS include:

  • technical support to the development of normative and policy documents such as the ECOWAS Code of Conduct for the Armed Forces and Security Services (2011) and the Draft ECOWAS Policy Framework for the Democratic Governance and Reform of the Security Sector (2013);
  • support to the operationalisation of such documents;
  • the joint publication of an ECOWAS-DCAF guide for parliamentarians on democratic oversight of the security sector. 

Most of the African members of the DCAF Foundation Council are ECOWAS member states. 

ECOWAS instruments relating to governance and reform of the security sector include:

1999      Protocol Relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace-keeping and Security
               (English, French, Portuguese)

2001      Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance (English, French, Portuguese)

2003      Declaration on a subregional approach to peace and security by the Authority of Heads of States and Government

2006      ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and Other Related Materials

2008      ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (English, French, Portuguese)

2011      Supplementary Act on the Code of Conduct for Armed Forces and Security Services of ECOWAS