Five UEMOA and ECOWAS Heads of State already in Dakar

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Five of the expected nine Heads of States have arrived in Dakar to take part in the 6th Conference of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), ahead of a Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), scheduled for 19-21 December in the Senegalese capital.
Presidents Alpha Oumar Konare of Mali, Kumba Yala of Guinea Bissau, Mathieu Kerekou of Benin, Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo and Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso were received at the airport by their Senegalese host Abdoulaye Wade.
Konare arrived in Dakar midday Tuesday, followed by Kumba Yala later in the afternoon.
Next came Kerekou, Eyadema and Compaore.
Expected Wednesday are Presidents Laurent Gbagbo of Cote d'Ivoire, John Kufuor of Ghana, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria.
Diplomatic sources said President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia would attend the opening of the ECOWAS summit Thursday, but would return home the same day to prepare for his investiture.
The Prime Ministers of Cape Verde and Guinea-Conakry, José Maria Neves and Lamine Sidimé, are also expected in Dakar Wednesday to represent their respective countries.
Gambian, Niger and Liberian ministers are expected to take part in the meetings of the two sub-regional integration organisations, according to official sources.
ECOWAS, set up in 1975, is a regional grouping of 15 West African countries.
It is mandated to promote economic integration in "all fields of economic activity, particularly industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, trade, monetary and financial issues, social and cultural issues.
" UEMOA, which also aims at sub-regional integration, was formed in Dakar in January 1994 and covers a population of 72 million inhabitants sharing a common currency, the CFA franc.

19 december 2001 09:15:00




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