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ECOWAS holds Heads of States Summit and 40th anniversary

HE Macky SALL, Senegalese Head of State and current ECOWAS Chairman

The 48th Ordinary Session of the authority of the Heads of States and Government (HOSG) of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) alongside the 40th anniversary of the Community will take place on Wednesday, 16th and Thursday, 17th December, 2015, respectively. These important and historic events will take place in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria.

Already, the ECOWAS Commission and the host nation have gone far in their preparations for a befitting 48th Summit, which coincides with the day set aside to mark the 40th Anniversary of ECOWAS which turned 40 on the 28th May, 2015.

During the Summit, the authority of the Heads of States and Government under the Chairmanship of President Macky Sall of Senegal, will consider among many items the 2015 Annual Report of the President of the Commission, Report of the 75th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers and report of the 14th Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council Ministers on the Institutional Reforms. The Summit will also consider the report of the 35th Ordinary Session of the Mediation and Security Council. The Heads of States and Governments are also expected to agree on some very important decisions and sign community acts.

With regards to the ECOWAS 40th Anniversary, goodwill messages are expected to be delivered by leaders around the world, including statements from the United Nations Secretary, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, President of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and President of the European Union Commission, Jean-Claude Junker.

As part of the event, there will be a presentation of Plaques by the Chairman of Authority to illustrious sons and leaders of the region, including, Gen. Yakubu Gowon former Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and founding father of ECOWAS, Mr. Koffi G. Jondo and His Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto. The anniversary event will also feature messages of an ECOWAS of the People from a representative of the Private Sector, Mr. Aliko Dangote as well as Women and Youth representatives. Similarly, Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, (AfDB) will deliver the 40th Anniversary Lecture with the theme “Financing Scientific Research in the ECOWAS Region”.

Other highlights of the Anniversary include presentation of Biometric Identity Cards to the Heads of State and Government by the President of the ECOWAS Commission and unveiling of the commemorative ECOWAS Stamp by the Chairman of Authority, to be followed by stamping and distribution of envelopes. There will also be a special cultural performances and screening of a special documentary, titled “If I were told about ECOWAS”.

As a build up to the HOSG Summit and the 40th Anniversary celebrations, several statutory meetings of the Community had been taking place in Abuja and around the region. These include those of the Admin and Finance Committee meeting was held in the Commission Headquarters from the 23rd to 28th November, 2015, and the Mediation and Security Council at Ambassadorial level held on the 4th of December, 2015. Similarly, the Council of Ministers will hold from the 13th to 14th of December while the meeting of the Mediation and Security Council at Ministerial level comes up on 15th December, 2015.

The two events will be concluded with an international Press Conference, where the ECOWAS President and heads of other community institutions will brief the media on the achievements of their various institutions and the community in the last 40 years.

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