‘Terrorism, insecurity have undermined achievements of ECOWAS’
This was disclosed in a statement to celebrate 45 years of the organisation, with the theme, ‘Promoting socio-economic and human development together through regional integration and Combating Covid-19 together in West Africa’.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou in his statement to commemorate the 45th anniversary highlighted that ECOWAS member states have shown resilience in going through political, economic, social and health challenges together and coming out stronger in the past 45 years.
According to Brou, efforts of ECOWAS were compromised by insecurity and threat of terrorism in the central Sahel region and North Eastern Nigeria., which led to a counter-reaction of the creation of a Regional Action Plan adopted in December 2019 by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.
According to Brou, The ECOWAS Commission and WAHO have been working to support Member States since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the Region by providing essential medical supplies and equipment as well as capacity building.
“The Community continues to build on the on the core elements of the integration project, including free movement of persons and goods and the right of establishment. Progress has also been made in the area of democracy and good governance in the Region with the ECOWAS Electoral assistance programme, and also peace keeping and Regional security through the ECOWAS Standby Force and Mediation,” he said.
Brou in his statement acknowledged Continental partners such as the African Union and the African Development Bank, which he said are instrumental in providing an African response to the crisis. He also thanked international partners including the United Nations, the Bretton Woods Institutions, the European Union, the G20 and bilateral donors, which provided timely support.
He also congratulated all staff of the ECOWAS Institutions (Commission, Parliament, Court of Justice, Groupe Intergouvernemental d’Action contre le Blanchiment d’Argent en Afrique de l’Ouest (GIABA), West African Health Organization (WAHO), ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) and Office of the Auditor General). “By sheer dint of hard work and conscientious devotion to duty, you have collectively moved us further up the road to realising the fundamental vision of our Founding Fathers for accelerated economic and social development in the region, through a process of integration, buttressed by conditions of political stability, as well as peace and security, thus enabling its citizens to enjoy a shared and prosperous future”, he said.