7 March 2013

West Africa: Ouattara Retains ECOWAS Chair

The Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have renewed the mandate of Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara as Chairman of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and government for another one year.

They took the decision at the end of the 42nd ordinary session of ECOWAS in the Ivorian political capital, Yamoussoukro last Thursday. In a communiqué afterwards, the ECOWAS leaders paid a glowing tribute to President Ouattara for the constant commitment he has demonstrated throughout the year, in guiding the affairs of the community. They warmly congratulated him for his positive contribution to the consolidation of the regional integration process and the management of the crises in Mali and Guinea Bissau.

In their communiqué, the Heads of State and Government decided that their next Ordinary Summit will hold in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, on a date to be determined after consultations by the Chairman of Authority.

In a vote of thanks after the reading of the communiqué, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone expressed ECOWAS's "deepest appreciation to H.E. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire and Chairman of Authority, and to the Government and people of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, for the excellent welcome and authentic African hospitality extended to us and our delegations, which made us feel so much at home in this great and beautiful country."

President Koroma said the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States, met at their 42nd Ordinary Session in Yamoussoukro from 27 to 28 February 2013 to deliberate on the challenges of regional integration, peace and security in West Africa,

Given the seriousness of the issues under discussion, he said they were equally most appreciative of the relaxed atmosphere created, as well as the "magnificent facilities" put at their disposal, which ensured stress-free interactions and productive outcomes.

"We, the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, further express our highest regard and appreciation to the Chairman of Authority for the masterful and efficient manner in which he guided proceedings, which greatly facilitated deliberations and ensured the successful formulation of critical Decisions," the Sierra Leonean President pointed out.

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