ECOWAS president lauds UK's contribution to sub-region's integration

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, has praised the government of the United Kingdom for its contributions to the success of West Africa’s integration project, including its ongoing training assistance to the armed forces of Mali to bolster their capacity to discharge their mandate.

The commendation came on 4 April 2013 during the accreditation of Dr. Andrew John Pocock, the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Nigeria, as the representative to ECOWAS in Abuja, an official statement released on Monday said.

Mr Ouedraogo reiterated the validity of the ECOWAS integration project and briefed the diplomat on the successes that have been achieved in the areas of the harmonization of trade and other policies, the development of regional infrastructure to improve intra-community trade and the movement of community citizens in the spirit of the objectives of the organisation’s founding fathers.

“There has been tremendous progress with the implementation of the regional protocol on the free movement of citizens resulting in a greater sense of community citizenship as well as the development of telecommunication which has eased intra-community communication,” the president told his guest.

The statement said while Mr Ouedraogo acknowledged some challenges to regional integration, he spoke glowingly of the successes that have been achieved.

“Our objective is to ultimately unite the region through various mechanisms,” he said, and appealed for UK support for the ongoing effort to transform the African-led force in Mali into a UN mission.

In order to address the challenges of maritime security, Mr Ouedraogo said a two-day summit of the leaders of West and Central Africa would be held from 18 May in Yaounde, Cameroon, to agree a joint strategy to combat the scourge of piracy in the two regions.

Dr. Pocock, who recently assumed duty in Nigeria, reiterated his country’s commitment to work with ECOWAS to realise the objectives of its founding fathers.
-0- PANA MA 8April2013

08 april 2013 21:16:48

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