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ECCAS-ECOWAS: a fresh start
Kigali,  15th juily 2016.

Right-Left: H.E. Marcel de Souza, President of ECOWAS Commission, Dr Fatimata Sow, Commissioner for Gender, Amb. Ahmad ALLAM-MI General Secretary O CEEAC


Group photo of the participants coming from ECOWAS and CEEAC


For a fresh start, as proclaimed by the two spokespersons throughout their discussions in the presence of colleagues in the margins of the 27th Summit of the African Union, the words were indeed momentous. The meeting between the Secretary General of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Ambassador Ahmad Allam-Mi and the new President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), His Excellency Marcel de Souza, left nothing to chance in deepening this new era in the cooperation between the two Regional Economic Communities and their leaders.

Symbolic gestures

From the outset, a warm handshake, an exchange of business cards and the introduction of the different persons selected to participate at the meeting: the diplomatic norms were well observed and the sense of African brotherliness was equally present.

Matters at hand

After the exchange of pleasantries, protocol and diplomatic courtesies, the two Heads of Institution delved into the matters at hand.

The first matter was cooperation in the area of maritime security and safety.

The second, inauguration of the management team for the Inter-regional Coordination Centre for the fight against piracy and insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.

The third, organisation of a Donors’ Conference.

Then fourthly, renewed efforts to organise the meeting of Heads of State and Government on the fight against the armed, terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Next Steps

Recruitment and inauguration by the end of August 2016, of the management team for the Inter-regional Coordination Centre (ICC) for the fight against piracy and insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.

Organisation of bi-annual meetings by the two Communities, to share experiences in different areas, particularly in peace and security and the establishment and functioning of a Free Trade Zone.

Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the two Parties setting out the areas of cooperation.

Organisation of a Donors’ Conference by the end of September.

Follow-up with the Heads of State of ECCAS and ECOWAS on the initiative to hold a joint ECCAS-ECOWAS meeting on the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group;

The ECCAS Secretary General informed his ECOWAS counterpart of the institutional and organisational reforms underway at ECCAS. “We want to review the administrative and legal procedures governing the structure and functioning of our institution, to infuse new life…” Ambassador Ahmad Allam-Mi indicated.

The discussions were held and concluded in an atmosphere characterised by the determination of both leaders to embrace a fresh start.

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