President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Chair of ECOWAS Monday tasked the President, Commissioners and Staff of the Commission to work to build a united, economically prosperous, politically stable, and secured Community that meets the aspirations of the citizens of the Community.
“As we round off the implementation of ECOWAS Vision 2020, and finalise the development of Vision 2050, we should strive to make ECOWAS a Community in which our dreams of prosperity, peace, security, integration and development are realised for the well-being of its citizens.
” The President made the call when he paid a working visit to the offices of the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, Nigeria.
He was there to interact with the management and staff of Community Institutions on the collective agenda on integration and development of West Africa.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that community would overcome and address the challenges of democracy, health, security, economy, trade and currency, only "in a spirit of genuine cooperation and solidarity.
"I believe that, collectively, we can all make ECOWAS the most viable regional bloc in Africa, and realise the vision of transforming ECOWAS from ‘a body of states to a community of peoples’,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo outlined his 5-point Agenda for the chairmanship of the Community, which include; the fight against terrorism; winning the fight against COVID-19; trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); the issue of a monetary union in ECOWAS; and the consolidation of democratic governance in the Region.
He commended the Commission for the successes in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture and humanitarian assistance, and urged the acceleration of the implementation of infrastructure projects such as the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project, the Praia-Dakar-Abidjan Corridor Development Programme, and the Dakar-Bamako Railway Project.
The ECOWAS Chair also urged the Commission to resolve as soon as possible, the high cost telecommunications, particularly roaming services.
He was hopeful that the community would expedite action to guarantee food security within the bloc, as that was vital to the development of the Community.
On humanitarian assistance in the region, the President noted that the persistent terrorist attacks and issues of climate change, particularly in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin, had caused significant internal displacements of people.
"The Commission should remain seized on these matters, and continue to provide assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons in the Region,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo told the Commission that the present generation of Africans, are engineering the transformation of poor societies into prosperous ones on the basis of democratic values and principles.
“European, American and Asian industrialization took place at times of limited franchises and authoritarian institutions.
"Ours is being done with full universal adult suffrage, in open societies.
This is the magnitude of our challenge, and the nature of our prize.
We should all be proud of being frontline actors in this great drama,” he said.