Panafrican News Agency

57th ECOWAS ordinary Summit opens in Niamey

Niamey, Niger (PANA) - The 57th ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) opened Monday in Niamey, chaired by Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou, current Chair of this sub-regional institution.

Opening the session, President Issoufou said that during his tenure as the head of ECOWAS, he emphasised "the main priorities of the moment, regional security, consolidation of democratic institutions and economic integration".

According to him, in terms of economic integration, various programmes have suffered from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The agenda of our single currency programme has been changed," he said, emphasising that this Summit must take this situation into account and develop a new roadmap.

"The opportunity will be taken to clarify the controversy arising from the announcement of the launch of the ECO by the member countries of UEMOA.

"More generally, our Summit must define the orientation necessary for the development of a regional economic recovery plan post-Covid-19, because all the programmes have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19," he added. 

President Issoufou also noted that "the health crisis has been added, in our region, to another crisis: the security crisis linked to threats from terrorist and criminal organisations".

Regarding the political and security situation in Mali, President Issoufou recalled the decisions taken by ECOWAS during the three virtual summits on that country.

"Mali needs stability more than ever so that the strong aspirations of the Malian people for security and development are fully satisfied. It is the duty of our community to assist Malians with a view to a rapid recovery of all democratic institutions. The military junta must help us to help Mali. We hope that it will respond favourably to the measures taken by our community. Other strategic partners of the Malian people have the same hope. Let us not disappoint them," he urged the meeting.

-0- PANA SA / JSG/KND/AR 7Sept2020