In December 2013, the European Union and the ECOWAS Commission signed a Financing Agreement for the amount of €20M to support the ECOWAS and WAEMU Commissions and West African Member States to accelerate the process of achieving an effective customs union in West Africa thereby increasing intra and inter regional trade which will improve the economic well-being of the citizens of West Africa. The expected results were: Result 1: The implementation and coordination of the West Africa regional integration process is improved Result 2: Increased trade and achievement of Customs Union in West Africa Result 3: West African trade is facilitated and improved Result 4: WAEMU Customs Union is strengthened and made more effective The global objective of the evaluation was to provide the relevant external co-operation services of the European Union, the partner government and, when appropriate, the wider public with: - an overall independent assessment of the past performance of the support to Regional Economic Integration and Trade Programme paying particularly attention to the results of the programme against its objectives; - key lessons and recommendations in order to improve current and future actions The purpose of this contract was to assess the overall impact of the support to Regional Economic Integration and Trade programme, with reference to the provisions in the programmes Financing Agreement, log-frame and work-plans. The Programme was evaluated using the standard assessment criteria along with a particular focus on questions of longer term impact and sustainability. In addition to assessing the tangible impact of the programme, the evaluation drew out the key lessons learned from the implementation of the programme and made a series of informed recommendations to guide the implementation of the remaining period and for future programming.

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