Abuja, 17 December 2017. The Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have allocated the position of president of the organisation’s Commission to Cote d’Ivoire. The decision was made known at the end of their 52nd ordinary session held on Saturday, 16 December 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria.
They approved the appointment of the current Ivoirian Minister for Industry and Mines, Jean Claude Brou, as President of the Commission for a four-year term, effective from 1 March 2018.
With regard to the other statutory positions allocated to Member States, the outgoing President of the Commission, Marcel de Souza, was directed to commence work with his successor, to facilitate the assumption of duty of the new statutory appointees.
Still speaking on institutional matters, they reiterated the need to execute the structural and institutional reforms that will render ECOWAS more effective.
With regard to Morocco’s full membership of ECOWAS, Tunisia’s observer status and Mauritania’s associate membership, the Summit set up a committee comprising the Presidents of Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea and Nigeria, to adopt the terms of reference and supervise a detailed study of the implications thereof.
The Abuja Summit reaffirmed the importance of peace, security and democracy for the region’s sustainable economic development.
Expressing solidarity with the Member States affected by terrorism, the Authority lauded the success recorded by the Lake Chad Basin Multinational Joint Task Force in the war against Boko Haram and the significant progress in the operationalisation of the G5 Sahel Joint Force to fight terrorism in the Sahel.
The West African leaders lamented the impasse in the peace process in Guinea Bissau, despite the decisions taken at their 51st Session held in Monrovia, Liberia in June 2017. They took note of the roadmap presented by the Guinea Bissau President Mario Vaz, for the full application of the Conakry Agreement, including the appointment of a Prime Minister by consensus.
On Togo, the Authority expressed concern at the lingering political tension, and condemned acts of violence and excesses which resulted in the loss of human life, injury and the destruction of property.
The Authority commended the Togolese government’s efforts to restore calm and create an enabling environment for national dialogue aimed at implementing, in a consensual manner, the desired political reforms.
On Mali, the Authority commended the Malian government’s efforts towards the implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, as well as the signing of a ceasefire between warring factions. It expressed concern at the increasing number of terrorist acts in the country, condemning the attacks on civilians and the Malian and foreign defence and security forces.
On the Gambia, the Heads of State and Government praised the government’s efforts aimed at reconstruction, establishing democracy and fostering national reconciliation.
They also commended the establishment of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission, and urged the government to ensure that the intention to render justice to the victims of the former regime remains consistent with Gambian laws and international standards and principles.
The leaders expressed satisfaction at the key role played by the ECOWAS Mission in the Gambia (ECOMIG) to restore stability and security in the country, and invited the President of the Commission to take the necessary steps towards the effective implementation of decisions taken recently in Monrovia on the Mission’s mandate and reinforcement.
They also commended the smooth conduct of the recently held general election in Liberia, and urged the two candidates in the run-off presidential election, George Weah and Joseph Boakai, to conduct peaceful campaigns and refer any possible electoral dispute to the courts.
The Abuja Summit expressed indignation at the inhuman treatment of African migrants and refugees in Libya, and condemned this modern day slavery. The Summit is committed to working with partner international organisations to end these barbaric activities.
On a different note, the Summit endorsed the main recommendations of the reports of the 79th Council of Ministers ordinary session, the 39th Mediation and Security Council meeting, and the 2017 annual report of the ECOWAS Commission President.
It is worth noting that the Gambian president, Adama Barrow, was the only Head of State not in attendance at the Summit. He was represented by his Vice-President, Mrs Fatumatta Jallow-Tambajang.
The next Summit is scheduled to hold in Lome, Togo in June 2018.