ECOWAS countries issued a non-aggression protocol and two previous agreements in 1978 and 1981 in 1990. On 29 May 1981, they also signed a protocol on mutual defence assistance in Freetown, Sierra Leone, which provided for the creation of an allied community armed force.  The ECOWAS trade liberalization programme (ETLS), adopted in 1979 by an agreement on agricultural crafts, crafts and unprocessed products and extended in 1990 to industrial products, is the most important framework for the integration of trade and the market within ECOWAS, as it deals with protocols relating to the free movement of goods, people and transport. The MAIN aspiration of the ETLS to consolidate the free trade area is led by the national authorisation committees, which inform the Member States. To this end, ECOWAS has created an ETLS website to facilitate its harmonization and use. In this context, ECOWAS has implemented a customs and connectivity programme to facilitate the movement of goods in the region. The common ECOWAS external tariff has therefore been operational since 2015. In addition, Member States are increasingly implementing the ecoWAS single declaration form for their customs administrations. The World Bank-supported Abidjan Lagos programme to facilitate trade and transport promotion for Benin and Nigeria is an example. Burkina Faso and Togo have also implemented the programme. Nevertheless, the challenges associated with the poor domestication of etHES are a problem that needs to be addressed in order to deepen the commercial and commercial integration of markets in the ECOWAS region.  Since February 2017, ECOWAS has 15 Member States; Eight of them are French-speaking, five English-speaking and two speak Portuguese. All current members joined the Community in May 1975 as founding members, with the exception of Cape Verde, which joined in 1977.
  The only former ECOWAS member is Arabic-speaking Mauritania, which was also a founding member in 1975 and decided to retire in December 2000.  Mauritania recently signed a new agreement on associated membership in August 2017.   ECOWAS MARKET INTEGRATION: A GAP ANALYSIS WEST AFRICA TRADE HUB TECHNICAL REPORT NO. 33 www.borderlesswa.com UEMOA is a customs and monetary union between ECOWAS members.