Ecowas Celebrates Its Day in Addis, Vows to Fight Terrorism

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Day was celebrated in the African Union Headquarters by assessing the major progress of the Community since its inception.

It is stated that in 39 years, much had been achieved in the journey towards the unity and progress of West Africa.

Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Toga Gayewea said the flagship protocol also operationalises free movement of people to making the region a free visa region.

To promote adequate access to energy for its people the West African gas pipeline which takes gas from Nigeria to Benin, Togo and Ghana for power generation becoming operational was mentioned as an other success of ECOWAS.

Towards ensuring regional integration, the 1025 kilometer long Lagos-Abidjan highway is worth mentioning.

Ghana ambassador to Ethiopia said Even though its major objective is essentially economic, the community took on political and security issues of member states.

The community court of justice appointed by the authority of heads of states and government from member states also work for the proper interpretation and application of laws of common treaty of the community.

The Day was celebrated under the theme “the role of regional economic communities in fast tracking the actualization of the African economic community”.

ECOWAS Commission also expressed its commitment to combat terrorism and violence as it is hindering the development of the region.

A statement issued by the Commission’s spokesperson, Sunny Ugoh, on Wednesday stated that it decided to mark this anniversary in sobriety, in view of the recent terrorist attacks in Nigeria which gly condemned that.

“We express full solidarity with the government and people of Nigeria in this difficult time.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, and our sympathies with the families of the abducted school girls,”said in the statement.

The statement noted many successes recorded by ECOWAS, while acknowledging that there was still a lot to be done in order to achieve the objectives of the ECOWAS founding fathers.

It recalled the significant progress made in building the common market with the adoption of the Common External Tariff and the revitalization of the monetary cooperation program.

Concerning institutional reforms, it noted the expansion of the Commission from nine to 15 members, the appointment of new commissioners and a financial controller.

The Court of Justice had also been renewed with new Judges soon to assume office, while efforts were under way to enhance the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament, the statement added.

The 1975 Lagos treaty signed by 15 West African states laid the foundation for the establishment of ECOWAS.

The main objective of ECOWAS is to promote cooperation and integration in pursuit of an economic union of West African states in order to improve the living standards of its people through maintaining economic stability and also contribute to the progress and development of the African continent.

Reporter: Habib Mohammed.

Source : Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency

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