The 25th summit of ECOWAS heads of State starts in Dakar

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- The 25th summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is expected to conclude its session in Dakar Friday with the election of the sub-regional body's executive secretary.
Three countries -- Benin, Gambia and Ghana have submitted prospective candidates to replace Lansana Kouyate of Guniea, who mandate has ended.
On Thursday morning, Senegal's president Abdoulaye Wade replaced his Malian counterpart Alpha Oumar Konare as current ECOWAS chairman.
In his welcome address, Wade noted that ECOWAS had become a reality in the international arena and commended the sub-regional organisation for its achievements since 1975.
Wade cited the promotion of intra-community trade, trade liberalisation and its efforts to find solutions to the sub- region's conflicts.
He insisted that peace and stability were essential tenets in bringing integration in a rapidly changing international scene.
Calling for new endeavours, Wade also challenged ECOWAS member states to combat terrorism and money laundering, which threatened to reverse its past achievements.
The Senegalese head of State paid tribute to his Malian counterpart for "the sense of anticipation he has displayed during his two years at the head of ECOWAS.
"Thanks to his militant and communicative ardour, his exemplary devotion and abnegation, he (Alpha Oumar Konare) has managed to give a new impetus and rhythm to our organisation", Wade said.

20 december 2001 23:50:00

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