ECOWAS to play a key role in NEPAD

Yamoussoukro- Côte d'Ivoire (PANA) -- West African leaders have mandated the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as the regional organisation charged with co-ordinating, monitoring and implementing programmes of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
According to the communiqué released at the end of their summit Friday in the Ivorian political capital, ECOWAS leaders favour the regional approach that seems, they believe, to be more appropriate to implement NEPAD.
They described NEPAD as a tool suitable for the integration and development of economies of the continent.
They urged member-states and development partners to support the ECOWAS executive secretariat to fulfil its mission.
In the communiqué, the leaders expressed satisfaction over the harmonisation of free-trade programmes between ECOWAS and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU/UEMOA).
They emphasised that consolidation of the regional integration process must be accompanied by actions and measures aimed at strengthening the economies in countries of the sub-region.
Thus it asked the ECOWAS executive secretariat to call a special meeting on landlocked countries to propose a number of specific actions for their social and economic development.
The ECOWAS leaders adopted a declaration on the implementation of NEPAD in the sub-region, emphasising the need to derive the maximum benefits from the continental development initiative.
Meanwhile, the West African leaders, who endorsed a resolution of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council on Liberia, urged belligerents to observe "an immediate and an unconditioned cease fire.
" They called upon authorities in Liberia to accept the principle of a round-table dialogue with all political forces in the country under the supervision of Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and the current ECOWAS Chairman, Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade.
To this respect, ECOWAS leaders mandated President Wade to seek the support of European countries and the US for the peace plan that ECOWAS wants to implement in Liberia.
Seven heads of state and government were in attendance, while the leaders of other member states were represented at the Yamoussoukro summit.
Presidents Obasanjo, Mathieu Kérékou of Benin, John Kufuor of Ghana, Pedro Pires of Cape Verde island, Alpha Oumar Konaré of Mali, Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and Laurent Gbagbo of Côte d'Ivoire were present.
OAU secretary general Amara Essy and representatives of many institutions and organisations attended the opening of the extraordinary ECOWAS summit.
They include the ECOWAS Parliament, the UEMOA Commission, the African Development Bank, the West African Development Bank, World Bank, IMF, UNDP, FAO, UNICEF, African Businessmen roundtable (ABR) and the African Competence Boosting Foundation (ACBF).
NEPAD is a long-term master plan aimed at eradicating poverty in the continent and strengthening the role of women in all activities.
It is a brainchild of the merger of the OMEGA plan by Wade and the Millennium Plan (MAP) of Presidents Obasanjo, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria.
To achieve these objectives, African leaders envisage an average yearly GDP growth rate of more than 7 percent in the next 15 years.
Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde Island, Côte d'Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo are members of ECOWAS, founded in 1975.

19 may 2002 14:08:00

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