Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - Five Ambassadors have been accredited as Permanent Representatives of their countries to the ECOWAS Commission, the Commission said in a statement issued here Thursday.
During separate ceremonies at the Commission’s Abuja Headquarters on Tuesday, Ambassadors Ian McConville of Australia, Hugo Ramos Milanes of Cuba, Dorothee Jnetzke Wendel of Germany, Ryuchi Shoji of Japan and Nyahuma Obika of Trinidad and Tobago, presented their letters of credence to the President of the Commission, James Victor Gbeho.
Gbeho later commended the countries for the appointments, saying that the gesture would not only reinforce existing cooperation with those countries but would also strengthen their close ties with the people of West Africa.
He expressed the hope that the appointments would also result in the development of new initiatives and the realization of new projects for accelerating the pace of integration in the region for the well being of its people.
At separate discussions after the accreditation, Gbeho promised the Japanese envoy that the Commission would avail itself of the scholarships offered by the Japanese government to support capacity building for the Commission’s staff.
This will expand Japanese support to ECOWAS beyond the areas of peace and security, he added.
Responding to the envoy’s request, Gbeho pledged that the Commission would be represented at the next Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
The ECOWAS chief also discussed potential cooperation with Australia on agriculture, health and disaster management, particularly capacity building, in order to improve food availability, health care delivery and the capacity to handle disasters in the region.
In talks with the Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago, both sides agreed to deepen cooperation on private sector collaboration, oil and gas, education, culture, and the establishment of direct air links between West Africa and the country.
They also agreed that there was potential for the region to tap into the Caribbean creativity industry. In this way, they agreed that the Commission could serve as a window for the Caribbean region to reach into West African countries.
-0- PANA PR/VAO 2Feb2012