Studies on regional economic integration in West Africa have concentrated on conventional accounts, which focused primarily on the activities of states and their agencies. The role and activities of actors who play a key function in the political economy of the integrating states and in the integration process are largely ignored or given limited attention. This paper contributes to a better understanding of the integration process in West Africa by exploring the role and the activities of multinational enterprises (MNEs) in the development and growth of the Economic Community of West African States (ECO-WAS). Further, this paper contends that MNEs are never passive in market integration. And through their membership in business associations, they participate in the creation, development and growth of the regional scheme. As the winds of economic liberalization and political reforms sweep across the West African subregion, it will become ever more crucial to forge partnerships between multinational enterprises and the host countries with the desire of fostering regional economic. © 2000 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.