The West African sub-region has a distinctive history as one of the most dynamic parts of the African continent. Forged out of a long, often contradictory, always contested trajectory of state formation, dissolution, and recomposition that has been accompanied at different stages by widespread population movements, the sub-region has, inevitably, grappled with a wide range of core, enduring governance questions. These questions have contributed, to one degree or another, to the making and character ofcontemporary state systems, as well as the political cultures underpinning them. It is hoped that readers of this synthesis report will find it useful as a quick and easily digestible summary of some of the key developments in West Africa that had a direct bearing on governance in the sub-region during 2006. The report does not pretend to be exhaustive-it cannot possibly be. Nor is it constructed as a chronological account-that was not deemed desirable.
Rather, it seeks, in an omnibus manner, to tie together various developments in West Africa in presentational and analytic rubrics that are designed to give insights into a variety of governance issues which caneach be pursued in their own right in much greater depth by readers who might have an inclination to do so. The report is in both English and French.