|Audio Attachment:Listen to the newly elected Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ambassador James Victor Gbeho|
The newly elected Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, has rebuffed assertions that meetings by Heads of States of the Commission were a ‘talk shop’.
There is a widely-held perception by a number of people, most especially some Ghanaian citizens that meetings of ECOWAS have now become a meeting place to hang out with colleague Heads of State and also strike new acquaintances.
But speaking exclusively to Peace FM on “Kokrokoo”, the former Foreign Affairs Minister in the First NDC administration stressed that ECOWAS discusses very relevant issues bordering on improving the living conditions of people. According to him, constant interactions by the Commission have brought about more developments within the sub-region.
“In governance, today, members of ECOWAS are doing for better than 20 years ago...the whole sub-region has registered an annual growth rate of 5% over the last decade, signifying that the region is doing well… the standard of living of member states had also improved marginally…To say it is a ‘talk shop’ is also an over-simplification of our challenges,” he stated.
He told Kwami Sefa Kayi host of “Kokrokoo” that the sub-region has witnessed free movements of goods, and was also using the same manual for training customs officers and ensuring that member states enjoyed more Intra-West Africa Trade.
Heads of States attending the ECOWAS Summit approved proposals for Ghana’s former Foreign Minister James Victor Gbeho to take over as President of the ECOWAS Commission.
Currently, Mr. Gbeho is adviser to the President on Foreign Affairs. He will replace Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas whose tenure ends in March.
Dr. Chambas takes up a new appointment in Brussels as Secretary General of the Commission of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries.
Meanwhile, the Commission has taken a decision on “sick” Nigerian President, Umaru Yar’Adua who was supposed to chair the Economic body.
Acting President of Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan is the current chairman of the Commission.
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