Senegalese president Macky SALL takes up the mantle as chair of the authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government19 May, 2015
|Senegal’s Head of State, Macky Sall, has been elected by his West African peers as new chairman of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government to replace his Ghanaian counterpart, John Dramani Mahama, who spent fourteen months at the helm of the organisation.
The handing-over ceremony between the two Heads of State took place on Tuesday 19 May 2015 in Accra, Ghana, during the closing ceremony of the 47th ordinary session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, which opened in the morning in the presence of 10 out of the fifteen Heads of State of the Community.
John Dramani Mahama thanked his peers for the trust and support he enjoyed throughout his tenure, congratulated the Senegalese Head of State, Macky Sall, on his election, and wished him a successful tenure as current Chair.
The incoming ECOWAS Chairman welcomed the choice made by his counterparts. and acknowledged the duties and responsibilities associated with his new position, which he intends to carry out successfully with the support of the Commission President, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, whose commitment, skills and availability he commended.
Macky Sall extolled the qualities of his predecessor, which enabled the sub-region chalk some remarkable achievements such as the implementation of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET), the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease and terrorism, the signing of the peace and reconciliation agreement in Mali, as well as the recent holding of peaceful and fair presidential elections in Nigeria and Togo.
The Senegalese Head of State outlined his major activities as regional peace and security, notably in Mali, the fight against terrorism and all forms of extremism, particularly in Nigeria and Niger, the ongoing fight against the Ebola Virus Disease, support for the electoral process in Member States and the implementation of Community projects. Lastly, he called for support and guidance from his peers to enable him succeed in his mission.
The Heads of State and Government, in a vote of thanks read on their behalf by Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Chairperson of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, Hanna Tetteh, paid glowing tribute to the outgoing Nigerian President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for the commitment he demonstrated throughout his tenure, in undertaking reforms and ensuring the development of his country.
In particular, the West African leaders commended him for his significant contribution to the deepening of the regional integration process and management of the Mali and Guinea Bissau crises.
Other decisions of the 47th summit include writing-off the cancellation of Guinea’s f USD 20 million debt arising from a loan to this Member State for the development of its energy sector, the creation of the Regional Disease Control and Monitoring Centre, and strict adherence to the electoral timetable for the 11 October 2015 presidential election in Burkina Faso.
In the final communiqué read by the Commission President, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, the West African leaders also approved the extension, from 1st July to 31 December 2015, of the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB), with a gradual exit process.
The Heads of State and Government also decided to celebrate the 40th ECOWAS anniversary featuring special anniversary-specific festivities to take place in Abuja, Nigeria, on a date to be communicated later.
Furthermore, the Authority called on Member States yet to do so, to take appropriate measures to implement the CET before the end of 2015, and urged those yet to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to do so as soon as possible with a view to facilitating its implementation.
In order to finalise the institutional reform process and prepare for the imminent end of tenure of some statutory appointees, the Summit approved the setting up of an ad hoc ministerial committee comprising Cabo Verde, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal. The committee is tasked with carefully considering the various issues and making proposals to the Authority at one of its future extraordinary sessions.
It is worth noting that the next ordinary session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government will be held at a date and venue to be appointed after consultations.