Burkina Faso's news agency reports that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is set to lose at least $74 million annually due to the withdrawal of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso from the bloc.
Abu Bakr Nasanabu, the Minister of Economy and Finance in Burkina Faso, made this statement.
Nasanabu estimated that ECOWAS would lose at least 45 billion West African CFA francs (about $73.9 million) annually in membership fees as a result of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger's withdrawal.
The minister pointed out that a decrease in the number of members in the association would undoubtedly lead to losses.
He also noted that most of ECOWAS's natural resources are concentrated in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, which constitute the Sahel States Alliance (AES).
Furthermore, Nasanabu explained that when it comes to foreign trade, Burkina Faso will not be significantly affected by ECOWAS's exit because its trade relations with other members of the bloc are lagging.
Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger announced their withdrawal from ECOWAS on January 28th. The three countries stated that the regional bloc had failed to "assist our countries in our existential struggle against terrorism and insecurity."
They also accused ECOWAS of "betraying its founding principles" under foreign influence by imposing sanctions on countries after coups.
Relations between the AES countries and the regional bloc have been strained since the military took power in Mali in 2020, Burkina Faso in 2022, and Niger in 2023.
The Union imposed severe sanctions on the latter and threatened to use military force to restore ousted Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum.