West Africa: ECOWAS to Modify Structure of ECOMIG After Gambia's Dec. Polls

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it directs to review the mandate and structure of ECOMIG to secure the upcoming December 2021 presidential elections and reaffirms its decision to modify the structure of ECOMIG after the Presidential election.

On the regional humanitarian situation, "the Authority expressed concern over the worsening humanitarian situation in the region as a result of terrorist attacks and effects of climate change. In that regard, the Authority reaffirms the need to strengthen ECOWAS humanitarian interventions and coordination with relevant humanitarian actors."

On maritime safety and security, ECOWAS reiterates its call on Member States to fully implement the measures adopted at national, regional, and continental levels to ensure maritime security and safety in the Gulf of Guinea. "It directs the President of the Commission to take appropriate

measures, in consultation with Member States, to fully operationalise the ECOWAS Maritime Security Architecture."

On its economic performance and implementation of regional integration programmes, the Authority says after a negative growth of 0.8% in 2020 linked to the negative effects of COVID-19, the Conference welcomes the recovery announced in 2021 with a

projected GDP increase of 3.5% in 2021. "It urges the Member States to accelerate the implementation of economic stimulus programs and projects to support the ongoing recovery."

"Authority notes the need to implement sizeable financing plans for the economies of the Region to support recovery. In this regard, it welcomes the

various initiatives underway, particularly the Paris Summit for the Financing of African Economies, as well as the G20 initiatives relating to the restructuring of the debts of developing countries. It calls for the speedy implementation of these initiatives."

"The Authority commends the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) for launching a facility to support African countries, including member countries of the ECOWAS region, to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and also for its support to the G5 Sahel countries aiming at strengthening national health systems. It also commends the Bank for its support of $22 million to the West Africa Health Organization (WAH0)."

"The Authority takes note of the proposal of the AfDB to develop an African Financial Stability Mechanism to protect the continent against external and internal shocks, as well as a Security-Indexed Investment Bonds to leverage resources on the global capital markets to reinforce security in the ECOWAS region. Therefore, it calls on the AfDB to work with the ECOWAS Commission to develop the Investment Bonds."

"Furthermore, the Authority calls on the AfDB to support quality health care infrastructure and develop pharmaceutical industries in ECOWAS countries, including the manufacture of vaccines."

On its AU chairmanship, the Authority took note of the report on a Mechanism to ensure predictability, transparence, and fairness in the rotation process within ECOWAS Member States for the occupation of the position of Chairperson of the Assembly of the African Union when the turn of ECOWAS arises.

"The Authority endorses the criteria set up in the Report and the subsequent rotation proposed within ECOWAS Member States for the chairmanship position of the African Union."

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