Abuja — The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Thursday stressed the need for its member states to create more jobs through its current economic reforms in the sub-region.
It equally charged member states to pursue the policy of more resilient economies.
It said this could be done through structural reforms, implementing sound macroeconomic policies, and ensuring diversification of economies.
In a communique issued at the end of the 48th ordinary session of the authority of ECOWAS heads of state and government in Abuja, the body canvassed for the establishment of the common market.
In the communiqué, it agreed on the need to increase the volume of intra- community trade, make the free movement of persons and goods a reality and pay particular attention to strategic sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, energy and human capital.
"The authority calls on the commission to pursue the harmonisation of sectoral policies and take all necessary measures to support the effective implementation of programmes under these different sectors.
"The authority reaffirms the importance of employment, education, health and social protection in national development strategies and urges member states to sustain their job creation efforts, particularly for young people, by promoting public and private investments in all areas," the communique read.
The community pledged to pursue, through the implementation of relevant regional policies, the improvement of food and nutritional security as well as sustainable natural resource management.
It also welcomed the adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate and the opportunity afforded by "this universal, differentiated and legally binding Agreement with the aim of enhancing member states capacities to address climate change challenges for a more resilient region."
It also vowed to provide, through unity of purpose and in a more proactive way, appropriate responses to the various security threats in the region, particularly terrorism, violent extremism, maritime piracy, trafficking and other forms of organised transnational crimes.
However, the body conceded the position of president of the commission to the Republic of Benin and the position of Vice- President to the Republic of The Gambia.
It directed the Presidents of the Republics of Benin and The Gambia to propose to the current Chairman the nomination of one their nationals for these positions from March 2016 to February 2018.