S/Leone recommends ECOWAS example for African integration

Banjul- The Gambia (PANA) -- Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister Momodu Koroma, Thursday expressed the hope that efforts by ECOWAS to integrate the West African sub-region could form a pillar for Africa's integration.
Citing the protocols on free movement of people, goods and services, unification of customs tariffs and the ECOWAS passports, among others, the Minister said: "I hope these protocols can serve as a good pillar for the integration of Africa.
" Koroma spoke to PANA in Banjul, ahead of this weekend's 7th AU Summit in the Gambian capital.
ECOWAS is one of the eight Regional Economic Communities (RECs) recognised by the African Union.
The harmonisation and rationalisation of the RECs are considered highly essential for the achievement of African integration, which is the theme of the Banjul summit.
The Sierra Leonean Minister said calls for further reduction in the number of the RECs should be weighed against the agreement to be reached by Member States at the Banjul summit.
"It is not easy for one person to express an opinion on this issue (rationalisation).
What we should do is for all of us to agree.
It is a give and take situation," he said, adding: "The outcome will depend on how much synergy we can achieve.
" On UN reforms, the Minister said Sierra Leone, as chair of the coordinating committee on the reforms, believes Africa's common position must be sold to other UN member States.
"This is necessary so they (other members) can accept our position and also for Africa to benefit from the reforms," Koroma explained.
He said the committee had "articulated our common position and we will present it to the Assembly at the summit.

29 june 2006 16:12:00

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