ECOWAS emerged on May 28 1975 at a time that the world, and Africa particularly, was going through a crisis in international economic relations, manifested in falling living standards in developing countries; over-dependence of Africa on the economies of the former colonial powers; limited space for manoeuvrability by the individual developing countries on the international scene; the paradox of sovereign equality of states and inequality in the ability to act.  Its creation was spearheaded by a section of the sub-region’s leadership at the time who found the argument for collective self-reliance in order to at least survive in the global system and engage in it meaningfully as persuasive and irresistible.