Senegal hosts next ECOWAS Summit in December

Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- The 2001 Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) holds in Dakar, Senegal 21-22 December, sources at the Abuja-based 15-nation organisation confirmed Thursday.
The sources told PANA that the Summit would be preceded by experts' and Council of Ministers meetings.
Ghana had been mooted as possible venue, and diplomatic sources say moving the Summit to Dakar could see Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade taking over chairmanship of the 26-year-old sub regional body from his Malian counterpart, Alpha Oumar Konare.
Mali hosted the last Summit in 2000.
Apart from the regular issues of sub-regional security and economic integration, the Dakar Summit is further expected to produce a new Executive Secretary for ECOWAS, as the tenure of the incumbent, Guinean Lansana Kouyate, runs out.
It is unclear if Kouyate, who has been credited with lifting the organisation into substantial visibility, would seek re-election after his failed bid in July to become Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
Kouyate became the fifth ECOWAS Executive Secretary in September 1997 when he took over from his ailing compatriot Edouard Benjamin.
At least three candidates have declared their interests for the top ECWAS job.
They include Jeggan Senghor of Gambia, Modibo Sidibe of Mali and Albert Tevoedjre of Benin.

15 november 2001 19:52:00

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