Ghana's Mohammed Ibn Chambas is new ECOWAS Executive Secretary

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Ghanaian bidder, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, has been elected the new Executive Secretary of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), for a four- year term.
Chambas, who was elected late Thursday at the 25th ECOWAS Heads of State summit winding up Friday in Dakar, takes over from Lansana Kouyate of Guinea-Conakry, who is stepping down after serving two terms beginning 1997.
A lawyer and political scientist, Chambas was born in Ghana 7 December, 1950.
He attended Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast, a town East of Accra along the coast, and Government Secondary School in Tamale, Northern Ghana.
He holds degrees in Political Science from the University of Ghana, Legon, (BA, 1973) and Cornell University at Ithaca, New York (MA 1977, Ph.
D (1980).
Chambas also has a law degree from Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.
He was admitted to practice law in Ghana and the State of Ohio.
He taught in the United States at the Oberlin College, Ohio and practised law with the Cleveland, Ohio, Law Office of Forbes, Forbes and Teamor.
In his political career back home in Ghana, Chambas served as MP for Bimbilla Constituency in 1993-96 on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress.
He was Parliamentary First Deputy Speaker (1993-1994) when he was appointed Deputy Foreign Minister.
Chambas lost his seat in 1996, but returned in December 2000 on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress.
He was a ranking member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Minority National Democratic Congress, as well as the Select Committee on Education and that on Subsidiary legislation.
In 1993-94, Chambas chaired Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee.
He first entered government in 1987 as Ghana's Deputy Foreign Secretary, consequently accompanying the Ghanaian Head of State on visits to a number of countries such as US, China, UK, France, Malaysia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
Chambas also led Ghana's delegation to several countries and conferences including the UN General Assembly, ministerial meetings of the OAU and ECOWAS, Non-aligned Movement and the Commonwealth.
He was centrally involved in ECOWAS mediation efforts in Liberia, and directly participated in negotiations leading to the agreements that ended the Liberian civil war.
Chambas was also a member of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, which worked to facilitate a transition to constitutional democratic governance in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
Between April 1997 and December 2000, he was Ghana's Deputy minister of Education in charge of tertiary education.
Besides the election of the organisation's sixth executive secretary down the line, the 25th ECOWAS summit Friday saw the official transfer of the chairmanship from President Alpha Oumar Konare of Mali to his Senegalese counterpart, Abdoulaye Wade.
Konare stepped down after two terms at the helm of the sub regional bloc.
The summit in Dakar also designated the Nigerian capital, Abuja, as seat of both the ECOWAS Parliament and Court of Justice.

21 december 2001 11:01:00

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