Sunday, March 30, 2014

ECOWAS new Chairman's three priority areas

The new Chairman of ECOWAS, President John Mahama of Ghana is wasting no time in setting his priorities for the regional organization as he prepares to start his first term as head of the organization.

He said his mandate will focus on three priority areas :

1. Regional Peace and Security.  The organization will try to consolidate the peace in Mali following a successful presidential elections that saw Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
  - In Guinea-Bissau, the ECOWAS chairman would work for the return of constitutional order.
  - In Nigeria, the organization will continue to focus attention on the Boko Haram terror group.
  - Youth unemployment is also high on his agenda because without employment there will be no peace

2.  Regional Economic Integration -  He affirms that he will give top priority to the economic integration of the sub-region to ensure that the results is translated in terms of collective economic prosperity.
   - He will also intensify action for the realization of the single currency

3.  Development of Economic Infrastructure - This includes, according to the new Chairman, the completion of the Lagos - Abidjan highway project.

ECOWAS needed a level-headed leader to pursue an agenda that has taken years to take shape.  Most of the Heads of State of the organization share common perspectives and values concerning regional peace and security, the economic integration of the region and the building of solid economic infrastructure.

It is no coincidence that the 4th EU-Africa Summit's theme is "Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace". Jammeh lacks the discipline necessary, and the humility demanded of leaders to guide ECOWAS during the most difficult challenges the sub-regional organization face - challenges that can only be overcome forging strong partnerships with the European Union, United States and other development partners.  President Mahama is, therefore, the right choice to head ECOWAS at this critical juncture in the organization's history.