Courtesy visit by the President of the Commission to the President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire01 Dec, 2023
On Wednesday 29 November 2023, the President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, His Excellency Alassane Ouattara, received in audience at the Presidential Palace the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Dr Omar Alieu Touray, who was accompanied by Ambassador Fanta Cisse, ECOWAS Resident Representative in Cote d’Ivoire.
Also present were the Minister, Chief of Staff of the President of the Republic, Mr Fidèle Sarrasoro, and Mr Wautabouna Ouattara, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Ivorians Abroad, who is in charge of African Integration and Ivorians Abroad.
The President of the Commission commended the Head of State for his leadership in conducting his country’s affairs and expressed gratitude for his commitment to promoting the development of the sub-region.
Their discussions focused on the worrying socio-political and security situation in the sub-region. They continued discussions on major issues leading up to the next Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government, scheduled for 10 December 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria.
On the sidelines of this visit, the President of the Commission attended the opening ceremony of the 7th edition of the African International Transport Forum and Exhibition (FISAT), chaired by the Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Robert Beugré Mambe, on the theme “Modernisation of logistics, transport, and infrastructure ecosystems: sustainability, security, digitalisation and employability of the youth. What challenges and opportunities for the Africa of tomorrow?”
In his remarks, he called for greater pooling of initiatives by member countries, to make ECOWAS a model institution in terms of transport, while stressing that peace and security remain essential criteria for achieving the desired objectives.
He also met with the Presidents of ECOWAS associations and organisations, especially the Union of ECOWAS Member States Nationals (ECOWAS UREM), the Union of West African States Traders (UCEAO), and the Confederation of West Africa Road Workers Unions (CSCRAO).
These various associations highlighted the difficulties encountered daily, especially the failure to comply with laws on the free movement of people, goods, and services, the security situation, and the thorny issue of the sanctions imposed on Niger, Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Faso, which are hampering the commercial transactions on which many families depend.
The President of the Commission then recalled the commitments made by the various Member States when the Organisation was created. He pointed out that change is possible in West Africa if democracy is applied. He cited Liberia, which has just made historic progress in this area.
Before concluding his remarks, he urged the associations present to continue working with the ECOWAS Resident Representation.