Nigeria: ECOWAS Summit ends in Abuja

Abuja, NIgeria (PANA) - The 46th Ordinary session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government rounded off in Nigeria's inland capital city of Abuja Monday with key decisions on the fight against Ebola, terrorism and the deepening of democracy in the West African sub-region.

Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama, who doubles as the Chairman of ECOWAS, formally declared the one-day Summit closed, after saying it had come to a ''successful end''.

President Mahama said he and his colleagues had ''quality deliberations'' during their closed-door session at the Congress Hall of the Hilton Hotel.

He said the highlight of the Summit was the launch of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET), which he described as a precursor to the creation of a common market in the sub-region of about 350 million people.

The ECOWAS chairman said the leaders also called on the five countries in the sub-region who are due to hold elections next year to ensure the success of the polls, in order to help deepen democracy in the sub-region.

Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Nigeria and Togo are due to hold elections in 2015.

Earlier, ECOWAS Commission President Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, who read out the communique, said the leaders reiterated the importance of the elections in the member states to the strengthening of democracy and called on the member states concerned to work with national stakeholders to make the elections free, fair and credible.

He said the leaders also mandated the ECOWAS Commission to support the election process in the member states.

At the end of the meeting, President Mahama was mandated to continue as ECOWAS Chairman after the Summit decided not to elect another Chairman.

He will continue to serve as Chairman till the next Ordinary Session to be held also in Abuja 20 May 2015.
-0- PANA SEG/AR 15Dec2014

15 december 2014 19:35:58




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