The Mano River Union
The Mano River Union was inaugurated in October 1973 between Liberia and Sierra Leone. The founding members have a common border and share important ethnic, political and cultural similarities, which are illuminatingly analysed by Christopher Clapham (1976). The fluctuating history during the past two decades of their initiatives for political and economic regional cooperation has been dominated by the personalities and ideological convictions of their respective leaders, and by their preoccupation with relationships with their more immediate African neighbours as distinct from broader African links, though these have not been disregarded. Liberia and Sierra Leone had indeed previously been involved in 1964, together with Ivory Coast and Guinea, in a proposal for a West African free trade area, but this initiative became a victim of political conflict between Ivory Coast and Guinea (Sesay, 1980).